Today I went running for the second time since this winter. As for you runners, you can imagine how it feels. I am really out of shape. I've added over a minute to my pace since last season. My legs were burning the entire time, whereas before I could run with ease. But today, God taught me a lesson through my run. I typically like to pray while I run, and talk to my Father. Sometimes I can hear Him talk back and speak to me. This was one of those cherished and much needed moments.
Today the wind was strong. Throughout my run I would be running straight into wind gusts of about 20-24mph. For those of you that exercise outdoors, you know how difficult this can be. Add these wind gusts on top of me already being out of shape, I can say, I was in agony. But as a runner I have the drive to not stop until the end. I must keep running until the time is up, and I reach the finish line.
This analogy has been used many times, but this time I understand it even deeper now: Our physical wellness is just as important as our Spiritual wellness. We have off seasons with our faith sometimes, just like our workout routines. We get too busy with other things and neglect our Spiritual health. We get too busy to pray, too busy to read the Bible, too busy to love others. Today He taught me that even while we are trying to stay in shape, there are things that can hinder us and keep us from staying at the right pace. During our Spiritual workout, things can slow us down and keep us from getting to where we need to be.
While running today, I would be running against the wind at times. This would be an example of us not listening to the Holy Spirit, and falling into sin. Sin may feel good at the time, like a cool breeze on your face; but during the race it slows us down, makes us work harder, and hurts us rather than helping us. We need to stay away from sin in order to reach our personal best. We must go with the wind and let it push us and drive us to the end. Allow the Wind to help us, make it easier, and keep us on track. Submitting to the Holy Spirit is like running with the wind, it can still be difficult because we don't feel the cool breeze on our face, but He drives us to where we need to be, and pushes us in the right direction. It may not seem easy at the moment, but in the long run He will help us!
I thank you Father for teaching me this. Help us all to follow Your Spirit, so that we can run with You strongly until the end!
(Disclaimer: While running, we sometimes still have to run against the wind to stay on course, in which case this specific analogy doesn't apply. The analogy of running against the wind and having to stay on course is different lesson for another time.)