The race was more than just a run for me, however. I learned a lot about God and myself in the process; important lessons that He graciously revealed to me while training for and actually running the race. Here are a few of those lessons:
|Runners: me, my wife, sister-in-law, father-in-law, and friend|
God's strength: Throughout my training, I watched God sustaining me mentally and physically. When I thought I couldn't go any farther or run any faster, I would consider Him and what He has done for me, and somehow He carried me. I'm only an average runner - don't get me wrong - but God showed me what I can accomplish when I find my strength in Him.
God's wisdom: One of the most difficult aspects of running a half marathon, in my opinion, is knowing when to run faster or slower (pace). I worked hard at this during my training, but didn't do it very well on the actual race! It's so important to run the same way you train! This leads me to...
My humility: It's incredible what 8 or 9 miles of a gradual incline can do to your body when you're pushing it! I started out way too fast and simply couldn't sustain the pace. At two points in the race, I had to walk. I felt so ashamed of this and did everything I could to not have to walk, but I also wanted to continue running hard. I came to the end of my strength and realized I had been running the race for myself and not out of joy for Christ. He mercifully humbled me during the last 3-4 miles of the race, and yet still lovingly helped me finish within my goal (under 2 hours).
|My bib number and finishers' medal|
God's love: Running is a great opportunity to meditate on what God has done for me. As I pushed my body, it made me think of what Christ went through in His suffering and what great obedience and love He displayed in His sacrifice. There is truly nothing that compares to the greatness of the love of God in His Son.
Today, two days later, my legs are still a bit sore and it's hard to go up/down stairs. The race is over and done. Life is getting back to normal. But I'm still reveling in my great dependence on God in my recovery, desiring to be back in that place of weakness to see His strength, and glorying in His provision for me. What an experience! What a wonderful arena to find God and enjoy Him there!