Monday, May 14, 2012

Courageous or Crazy?

Have you ever been in a marathon?  I mean a real marathon... a 26.2 mile run?  I have been a runner off and on since Jr. High school.  I've never been that fast.  I've never won a race.  I've never even placed in my age bracket.  In fact, the last race I ran, I finished in 694th place.  And yes, there were more than 700 people in it.  But I digress.  I have decided to run all 26.2 miles of the first ever Canton Marathon on June 17, 2012.  I have paid the entry fee, I have been training, and strangely enough, I'm looking forward to the challenge of running a full marathon.  I don't plan to win... I just want to survive and finish.  Am I courageous or just plain crazy?

As of today, my longest run ever is about 17 miles, and the race is 33 days away.  I will do a few more long runs of 15-20 miles between now and then in addition to many shorter runs and swims.  For many months, I have been doing all I can to prepare.  I know this will be the most difficult physical challenge of my lifetime.  To me, this is an intentional step of faith - not faith in myself, but faith in God. 

Every moment of every day we depend on God for everything.  We may indeed depend on Him, but how much do we really trust Him?  I am asking myself:  Can I trust God enough to help me prepare adequately?  Can I trust God enough to protect me?  Am I willing to trust God to strengthen me for the long, grueling miles of a marathon?  Am I willing to take that kind of step of faith?  This race is as much of a spiritual test for me as it is a physical challenge. 

I could be injured on my next training run and miss out on the marathon altogether.  Or, everything might go as planned and I run it, finish it, and live to tell about it (obviously my preference).  There are a million possibilities, and only God knows the outcome.  But I want to be a stronger, more determined person so that I can ultimately better serve God with the life He has given me.  I believe the step of faith to run this marathon will better prepare me to do just that.  In fact, it already has. Some may call me courageous.  Some may call me crazy.  But if it's possible to run a marathon so I am better equipped to serve God, that's what I fully intend to do.

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