I used to run cross country in high school. I never really understood why I ran. I never liked it. I mean seriously, who actually enjoys torturing themselves just to lose a few pounds? Feeling the burn is not fun people. I couldn’t stand the kids who would “run for fun”. I knew they were lying deep down.
I never liked racing either. I was a 5’8 dwarf to the other kids. I wasn’t short and I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t super tall and skeleton like. I would get beat by skin and bones running by me. Then the same kids had the audacity to make fun of me after the race, like I was offended by a Dracula for not being as skinny as him. I should of ran races with a ham sandwich in my hand, then tried to catch up to the leader just to force him to eat something. I’d probably do better in my races…or I’d eat the sandwich and still suck…
I think the worst thing that could have happened to me in cross country was when I tripped over a tree root, and fell onto some kid. Of course no one stopped to help me up, and the kid I brought down screamed some pretty horrendous words for being less than 100 pounds, but the race was still going, so I had to keep running. I just ran a little bit slower just to be careful.
I didn’t get the concept of running. I was in physical shape. I could run for miles and miles. I kept up with all of my teammates. But during races I couldn’t pull it off. I had a terrible mindset. My head game wasn’t strong. I knew I had put in the work, but I was upset that it was never showing. I wanted everyone to see my performance, but I didn’t want to go all out and be tired by the end of it.
This is how some of us view Christianity. We think about all the time we’ve put into God. We’re like, “God, I did my devotions on my YouVersion app today, I prayed last night and this morning, I went to church this week and I might even go to Bible study too! I’m being a good person God. Can’t you…I don’t know…bless me a little bit more? Like dude come on I’ve done all this for you, can’t you do something for me?”
We go through our list of spiritual living just because we want to seem like a good person and we want God to bless us. We train just to be good, but we forget something.
Life is not all about what we’ve done for Him. It’s all about what He’s done for us.
Our performance is not based off of how much we’ve trained. Even if you’ve been training for years and you’re a first place runner, the physicality and strength you’ve obtain is not from yourself. It is a gift from God. We wouldn’t be here without Him.
Don’t train because you want something out of it. Train because that is what He wants out of us. Some of us think that if we train more then Jesus will love us more and exceedingly bless us. This isn’t what life is about. Jesus wants us to get to know Him. He wants this relationship to be you and Him, not you and yourself. He wants to show His love for us, and He gives us ways to do it. That’s why we train. We do it for Him, not for us.
Some of us train for years upon end, and then we mess up. We fall in our races. Then when we get back up, we slow down. We think, “well God…I’ve screwed up big time. I gotta fix my life you know…turn my life around before I can come back to church.”
What..? That’s the opposite of what Jesus wants. Do you sink down to the depths of the oceans because you screwed up? You can’t swim up and save yourself from sinking. You don’t stand a chance against the waves of sin. You can not overcome it; you can never overcome it. You can only drown by yourself. There’s only one who can save you! His power is enough to rescue you from sins grip. He will take you out of the seas and into the light. You just need to call up to Him! You can’t save yourself, only Jesus can. It’s always been Jesus, It always has been Jesus, and it’ll never stop being Jesus. He’s the one who save us, we don’t save ourselves. He’s never going to let you drown. He has already drowned in His own blood so that He can rescue you from sinking.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)
Oh and for the record I still kind of run. I go jogging here and there. Even though I’m 19, I can already feel it in my knees, so I’m praying that my knees don’t give out in my 20’s.
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