March 27, 2007

How DO You Run?

Posted in Christian Life at 10:25 pm by Dan Barnett

I’ve been looking back lately on a lot of my high school cross-country races. I noticed some trends in the way I and others ran at different times. I think these trends are also evident in our walk with Christ.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9 to run in such a way that we may win the prize. But how do we do that? I remember one race when I had had strep throat for a week prior and, by the two-mile mark, I was struggling to just stay in the race. From the first race I ran I promised myself I would never quit a race. I was running toward that goal and nothing else. I’ve lived my life like that at times. I just live to make it to tomorrow. I just don’t want to give up. When we feel like this, we need help. I can remember being that help to a runner whom I had run against for 3 years. It was the last race I would face him in, and as I came up to pass him from behind, I knew he wasn’t ok. He should’ve been 2 minutes ahead of me. I asked him how he was, and it was obvious he was running to make it to the end and nothing more. I told him just don’t quit. After I finished I caught my breath and a couple minutes later he staggered across the finish line. Myself and a couple teammates of mine ran over and grabbed him off the ground and carried him to get water. I’ll never forget how he looked me in the eye and just said, “Thanks, man.” We can’t be afraid to just tell someone we’re hurting. I f we are running not to quit, we’re not running to win, and we need to break through the struggle. I had two goals in every race: 1. Don’t quit, which I achieved every race, and 2. Don’t get passed at the end, also achieved. The second one I think is where we should be, but more. Whenever I came up behind someone, I focused on him. I knew that I had to beat him to beat anyone else. So I raced passing one opponent at a time. When I approached the end of the race I would be at an all-out sprint. I zoned in on the guy in front of me and made it my goal to catch him before the end of the race. How many days do you have left on this earth? You don’t know. So why not try to just reach one more before you go? One race, I had ¼ mile to go. There were over 350 runners in the race. I was in about 80th place. All of a sudden I realized if I just stepped out of the flow of runners and took off I could move up. I stepped out and sprinted as hard as I could. My place? 50th. I really like the word NIKE. Nike is the Greek goddess of victory. Ever wonder what the slogan meant? “Just do it.” I never got it until yesterday. If nike stands for victory, then to achieve victory, you just have to go do it. Jesus didn’t say go when you’re comfortable and make disciples. He said to go. We may not have all the answers, but He does. Just go. I was never the fastest on the team, but my senior year I was stretched by Marty Sobczak, my coach. He taught me one thing that was greater than anything else I learned throughout high school. He taught me to race. He taught me what the point of fartlicks was(don’t ask). He taught me how to speed up to catch someone when I had no more strength. He taught me to win in my position. I would never take first place and I knew it, but I ran as though I was going to. That’s what Paul meant. My life verse is this, “One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians3:13b-14

Your writing is so poetic. I loved reading this post. My favorite line is “If we are running not to quit, we’re not running to win…” Sounds so bumper sticker-ish. When you were talking about just focusing on the next opponent, I was thinking about how that also relates to obstacles in our walk with Christ. We shouldn’t think about ALL the changes we need to make or ALL the things we need to overcome. We just need to simply focus on the next ONE, and then the next ONE, and so on. Sometimes stepping “out of the flow” is the hardest part. It seems safer there & plus everyone else is there. Sometimes you gotta step out of the flow to get ahead. Great food for thought Dan!

January 13, 2007 4:36 PM

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