It takes a certain kind of insanity to run a Half Marathon eleven years after you ran your first “one-and-done” Half. It seemed like a good idea last summer. A run was being planned in a town where my daughter lives, and I had the idea that if I signed up, I would not slack off on running like I normally do in the colder months. The starting line was a five-minute walk from the house, and it started at 7:00 am, which meant I didn’t have to get up terribly early … something I absolutely hate. Everything about the race sounded appealing. Then my friend and running partner decided to join me at the last minute, making it even better. Did I set any records? Nope. Did I finish without puking (my one and only goal)? Happily, yes. Did I stay in better shape, knowing the race was coming up at the end of January? Yes, until I broke my arm three days before Christmas. But for the most part, I was satisfied with how it all came out and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. Especially the finish line. And not puking.
God has established a finish line for each one of us. He invites us to stay on the course he has set before us and urges us to not deviate from it. His is a road that leads to redemption. His is a road that leads to salvation. His is a road that leads to a future with hope. And you’re never alone.
Psalm 119 (The Message)
1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
There have been many times in my life when I went off on my own. How about you? I regret every step that took me away from God’s will and God’s way. Thank God, Jesus came to help us get back on track through the atonement of sin and the forgiveness he purchased on the cross on our behalf.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
Do you have regrets about your past? Do you grieve over your sins? Do you carry the heaviness of your misbehavior? Jesus walks along side of you and is able to shoulder every burden you are carrying, if you are willing to submit and yield to his instruction.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
God will never, ever walk off and leave you. Just as my running partner joined me for the race, Jesus is ready, able, and willing to run with you and teach you the pattern of his ways. You are never alone when you invite Jesus to run the race with you.
See Nana Run by Sarah Haas Callahan