With the New Year, many people have made resolutions to get in shape. One of the most popular forms of exercise that people do is running. Running is something that the majority can do and it does not cost them anything. They can run indoors at a track, outdoors, or in the gym on a treadmill.
Running a track can be a simple style of running. There is not much to it but going around in a circle on a flat path. Sometimes this path is concrete, pavement, or even a nice bouncy rubber topping.
Then, you have the people who want a tougher challenge. The ones who want to go above and beyond in their training. Cross country style runners do not just run circles on a flat path but they go up and down hills, through woods, ditches, and other rough terrain obstacles.
Cross country runners face many tough hurdles when they are training. One of them are the hills that they must defeat. Who likes to run up hills? When you run up a long steady hill, your legs begin to get sore after a while. You know that the more burn you feel in your legs, the strong they will become in the end and you will be able to tackle more obstacles. Then once you get to the top, you know that there will be a downhill slope at some point.
Running downhill is fun. It takes little effort to accomplish and does not, well sometimes, hurt as much as running uphill. It is basically a coasting mode of running. No effort and no real benefits. As a matter of fact, downhill running can set a runner back in training. There is not much soreness if any, so your legs do not get stronger.
We can gauge our Christian walk around different styles of running.
The track runner is the type of Christian that goes to church, shows up, listens to the sermon, and then goes home. Every now and again they will come to all the services during the week but most of the time they just come on once, check their attendance box, and head home. They are not accomplishing much and sometimes can set their Christian walk back a step because they are not truly active in growing their faith.
Next, you have the downhill Christian runners. These are the ones who are on cruise control with their life. They show up to services once every few months. When they leave worship, they go on about their normal routine and never think twice about worshiping Christ. It is fun to them to just live life with no worries. They have nothing that tears them down to make them stronger in Christ.
Finally, you have that uphill Christian runner. The faithful Christian who works hard in the congregation through many different types of involvement. This is the one that the toughest one because they are walking a tight line with Christ and people from everywhere try to tear them down. The devil throws many roadblocks in their way to try to get them off track and collapse. The constant burning of the legs does nothing but make them stronger so the next hill that they approach will be easier to tackle.
- Proverbs 14:23: In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.
- Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
The answer is simple. Scriptures tell us that we must work hard, train hard, and we will be rewarded. The sufferings we go through will be worth it in the end. If we are distracted from our works for the Lord, it can be lead us down a path to poverty.
What type of runner are you?
If you are the track runner or the downhill runner, the great news is that Christ can turn your life around. It will require hard work and dedication to Him. The hills will be tough at times but with Christ, all things are possible (John 3:16)
God is Good.