I love to run (more in my heart and mind at times) and one of my favorite sports is track and field. This probably came from my father who ran track in high and on a college level. My daughter picked up this passion as she runs track as a sprinter and she is pretty fast. She even made the Penn Relays two years in a row a few years back..I am so proud to say.
My husband loves to work out and loves to run as well. We do dates at the gym sometimes. Honestly most of the time he is dating himself at the gym…yes even with me present lol. Seriously my husband is like a workout king and he is super passionate about working out and running. Back in his younger days he would literally go running across the Ben Franklin Bridge as if it was no big deal. Pretty impressive, but those bridge running dates were definitely self dates for him. He has always been patient with me. Let’s say he would run or work out earlier in the day, but then I get my little unction to get “my workout on” (even if it’s 10’oclock at night)…..he would take the time to go back out and take me without complaining at all. There are only two things I will mainly do, run and then power walk for just a few minutes. So I always appreciated his grace and patience towards me.
Once my husband and I were in a conversation about running that changed my perspective forever. It was winter time and we were heading to the gym on a date but I felt I had something to say about the treadmill workout. It went something like this: “I can’t wait until the spring and summer. I don’t really care for running on the treadmill all that much to be honest. I like running outside because I am actually GOING somewhere, reaching a destination point. I like to go somewhere when I am running or power walking because that makes me feel I have accomplished my goal. All that treadmill stuff is nothing, you are not going anywhere just running in place and babe you should really be going somewhere when you are running.”
So ya’ll I just knew I had landed something fierce for my husband to ponder…to take a selah moment on. But after about 4-5 seconds of silence my husband said this one line so very gently….”but running on the treadmill gives you perseverance.” WHOAA. Then I-I was silent for a few seconds, I was internally floored and I thought oh my goodness, he is so right. Then I said to him: “honey you are absolutely right, thank you for that”.
When you are running on a treadmill, you may not be going anywhere per say but it’s keeping you steady and balanced. You are still physically burning the same calories as if you were running outside to reach a point or destination.
He had me thinking about when seasons of life can seem like you are on a treadmill. It seems like you are running in place stuck…BUT you are not stuck at all, you are actually still going somewhere building perseverance, patience, and maturity.
There is a discipline of making it through the season and not giving up that comes. Let’s look at what perseverance means:
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
We are running the race of faith and we are on a power faith walk. However, because we are in the flesh and because we have an enemy who hates us, its’ not always easy when you are on the spiritual treadmill. There are days you may just want to quit working-out your salvation all together. It takes a mature person to keep running and walking in faith even when it looks like you are not getting anywhere. It may appear like this on the outside, but know without any doubt that God is doing an internal work in you and for you. He is strengthening and toning and building muscle in you. This faith run and power faith walk that is taking place on the inside of you is also shedding off unnecessary excess pounds and weight as you let it go and is shaping you into the man and woman of God HE has called you to be. In the natural the difference between running on a treadmill and running outside from point to point as far as what it does for the body is about the same. There is very minimal difference. However, there is a big difference mentally for the two. When you are running in place on a treadmill you have to focus more on your rhythm and keep your steps synchronized so you won’t fall off because unless the treadmill stops, you have to keep going. You can’t hold on to anything around you. You have to keep your hands free and eyes open or else you will be on the floor. You also have to be confident that the calories you intend to burn are actually burning. Same in the spirit. It takes an extra effort of focus and strength to keep your rhythm of faith and to synchronize your steps with the steps that God has already ordered for you in the treadmill season. Because how many of us know that life will keep going and time stops for no one. You also have to be confident that God is doing a great work and just begin to allow those “calorie burdens” to burn off and allow the “extra burdens” and “cares of weight” to fall off in the process. And you must keep your eyes open and focused on Jesus and not hold on to anything but Him.
The second definition of perseverance is:
2.(Theology). continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation
Let us all be challenged today to keep running this great race of Faith. Let’s stay on this faith power walk. Don’t’ get distracted by anything or what anyone else is doing. It doesn’t matter whether you are on the spiritual treadmill or spiritually running outside, no judging or coveting…no competing or crashing into each other allowed. Stay YOUR course and stay in YOUR lane. At the same time have compassion. Rejoice with others and mourn with others as God’s word commands us. Be LOVE.
It is important to have others like your Leaders, accountability family and friends that want to see you grow, on the sidelines cheering you on, encouraging you to press forward and not give up on your dreams and God’s vision for you. No matter what season we are in, there is work to do and the Kingdom of God to build. We have an eternity with Jesus and God our Father to look forward to when we leave this earth. We have promises yet to be fulfilled while we are still on earth. Keep treading in place. Keep treading in the distance. Keep pressing toward the mark!
Romans 5:3-4 (AMP)
3 And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; 4 and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].
James 1 (KJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV)
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:24(KJV)
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
PRAYER: God you are amazing and I thank you for who you are in my life. I rely on your strength today and I choose to trust you in every season. I know that when it looks like nothing is happening, you are still working and moving on my behalf and building maturity and character. I will not believe the lie of the enemy. I will stand on your every promise allowing you to have your perfect work in me and through me. I choose to get on course. I choose to stay on course. I choose to keep running this race of faith and walking this power walk of faith for this brings you glory and honor. I thank you for the ability to persevere through your grace and strength in every season. Thank you God for the people you have placed in my life to cheer me on to success and I will pray for the hearts of those who would rather see me fail. I am standing on your word that promises that all things are working together for my good because I am called according to your purpose. I will keep me eyes wide open towards you, my hands off the situation and hands to the plow to help build your kingdom. In doing this I know I will get through to my destiny and help others get to theirs! In Jesus Name. Amen.