Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Yes! I would love to run a marathon! It is on my bucket list!
That was me a couple of years ago. I did not run, unless someone was chasing me or the ice cream truck passed me. However, I always wanted to run a marathon and I had 10 months to figure it out because I signed up!
I am going to let you into my world for a moment. At that time in my life, I was a cute, little piece of chunkiness at 250 lbs. Many people, including my doctor, always referred to me as proportionally fat. I am not so sure that was a compliment, but they assured me it was.
Either way, shopping for running shoes and clothing did not come easy. Most athletic stores thought a size 8 was XL! I have to give some props to my most favorite stores in this area though. They both had wonderful staff who didn’t even blink when I said I was going to run a marathon. They congratulated me and offered me all sorts of advice.
My favorite was this little guy (I am sure my shadow weighed more than him) who was a runner. He had ran several marathons. Knowing that I wasn’t the typically shaped runner, he recommended I buy mens’ running shoes because they would handle my more robust frame. He tried to say it so delicately. It was the cutest thing. Then he looked at me and told me to take it slow and give myself plenty of grace.
Grace…now there is a word that I would have never thought of when training for anything athletic. I pictured my workouts more like having a Drill Sergeant on my shoulder calling me every name in the book and telling me I am not good enough and had to try harder. Grace?? Where does grace fit in?
Well, let me tell you Mr. Wisp of a Man was totally correct! You see I had to start out learning to walk 30 minutes without killing myself. I then learned to run for small burst here and there. Next, I learned to run for 30 minutes straight. Eventually, I ran farther and longer. Then I had to learn to run faster. I had to persevere.
Some days were hot, others cold. Rains came down along with sickness. Not to mention I had a few pulled muscles and lots of cramps! Any point along the way I could have said, “Nope! I am not good enough! I am too fat and no fat woman should never run!” I could have quit, but I didn’t.
I offered my body and mind some grace. Sure, I would get up some days and say there was no way I was going to run that many miles. I wasn’t feeling well or the weather wasn’t cooperating. “No problem. I will run as much as I can today instead.” There were even days when I got so sick I couldn’t walk, let alone run. That was OK too. “I will rest up today and hit it hard tomorrow!”
Just like our walk with Christ, we aren’t going to be perfect all the time. We aren’t always going to live in a perfect world. Our days are not going to consist of rainbows and unicorns all the time. It is OK. We just have to persevere. We have to get up and walk again. We offer ourself a little grace and pick right back up and move on.
Before you know it, you will be throwing off everything that hinders you and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race marked out for you (Hebrews 12:1).
By the way, I ran that marathon, with my daughter, at 230 lbs. Unfortunately, it was an extremely cold day and half way through I succumbed to hypothermia. But you know what? I can say by the grace of God I ran a half marathon! YAY ME!
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