This morning the 5 a.m. alarm pulled me from the warmth of my dreams. I nudged Hubby awake so he could get up for work. Usually I roll over, pull the comforter up to my chin and stay snuggled in the warmth while pondering my plot.
This morning I did something different–I threw back the covers, forced myself out of bed, and dressed in my workout gear. I grabbed my iPod, laced my shoes and headed out the door for my first day of Couch to 5K training.
Darkness cloaked the neighborhood, but the streetlights lit my path as I walked and jogged my route. After 30 minutes, my house beckoned like a beacon as I wheezed my way home. My chest burned, muscled thrummed, but my heart danced.
I did it.
I shared my morning excitement with a friend, who encouraged me and asked if I felt great. I laughed and told her I felt like I was going to die, but you know what? I do feel great.
I feel great because I did what I said I was going to do instead of taking the easy way…the lazy way.
I feel great because I started my day being marveled by the beauty of God’s handiwork–the night sky smudged by the dawn.
If this is the runner’s high that my friend mentioned, then yes, I have a runner’s high.
In the New Testament, Paul had a runner’s high. I’m not sure if he was an athlete, but he likened self-discipline and living the life of a Christian to a runner.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV reads: Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
As Christians, we need focus. We need to keep our eye on the prize–our eternal crown in Heaven. By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will be the one at the finish line cheering us on.
My friend mentioned a high she feels after running. I understood what she meant because I returned home feeling great for going through with my first day of Couch to 5K. But as a Christian, spending time in the Word, fellowshipping with other Christians, and keeping my spiritual self-discipline in line with God’s leading, I’ll experience a spiritual runner’s high that will keep me going no matter how pitted my path may become.
Your turn: Do you walk or run on a regular basis? What tips would you have for a beginning runner? What are your thoughts regarding Paul’s comparison of a Christian to a runner?