Monday, March 31, 2008

Amazing gRace!

It became clear to me last year when I first began my journey into the wonderful world of endurance-training otherwise known as "marathoning," that there were multiple moral and spiritual implications that could be derived from the sport of running.

It needs to be clarified upfront that I am NOT an athlete, I have LOW muscle tone, and in the world of marathon runners, I am below average. However, when I first set the goal to "run a marathon," it was a decision that I made on faith, because a few of my family members had previously been successful at this endeavour, I assumed that I had the genetic predistposition to make this dream a reality. That act of faith proved to be accurate, because I did complete my first marathon last fall.

During my training, I found out quickly that all of the athleticism in the world would not be enough to sustain ANYONE, let alone COMPLETELY incompetent ME in this task. I learned that running a "race" has little to do with "smart strategy," "giftedness," and even "will." Success in marathoning has to do with biting off a little bit at a time... combining the wisdom of those who have gone before you with a great deal of stick-to-itiveness on the part of the runner.

Life lessons galore. There is rarely a training run that goes by, where I am not blessed by a very long and insightful conversation with my God. These intimate and sometimes humbling conversations have slowly begun to change my life as I slowly hit the pavement.

Tomorrow is the first "official" day on my Spring training calendar that will lead me to October 12th, where I will run with several of my family members in the Chicago Marathon. If you care to follow my journey, here's where you'll find me.

Yesterday on a particularly enjoyable run, I was listening to "Amazing Grace" by Chris Tomlin. I realized that God HAS given me the strength to endure the race that is set before me--both literally and metaphorically. I am often tempted to give up, to say "this is too hard," or "too painful," but I know He has called me to endure. My heart felt like jumping out of my chest, and tears began to well in my eyes as I felt an intimate and personal attachment to my biggest Cheerleader- a Holy God whom I'm not worthy to run after, but I do.

Truly, Amazing gRace.