Race Toward Grace!

I have a good friend, Kim, who is not only a stellar dietitian, she’s also an impressive Ironman triathlete. She has amazing endurance, in her ability to train and compete. In addition, Kim typically runs several marathons every year, including her 9th Chicago Marathon this coming weekend (October 11th).

I am a “sometimes” runner, at best. I do well for awhile and then get off-track. It can be difficult to jump back in to a routine! Thankfully, Kim made several excellent points as we discussed how Life is like a marathon.

Essentially, Kim pointed out that races often don’t go as planned, “Not every race will be a good one.” Plans can fail, and the weather can be totally unpredictable! Yet, our ability to adapt to the unexpected is crucial. We can learn from what goes wrong in order to improve our outcome next time.

Kim also said, “No one runs a marathon without running a mile first. It is a process.” You can’t finish if you don’t start. Similarly, the temptation to quit will inevitably come.
Kim’s advice? “Do your best, and stop comparing yourself to others.”

Kim tends to break down the distance into smaller chunks—one mile or one landmark at a time. She also reminds herself how fortunate she is to be able to race, when others don’t have the opportunity (or ability). Hey, a little gratitude can go a long way!

(Thank you, Kim, for your wise words!)

For many of us, however, a marathon in real life is out of the question. Whether it is timing, or health issues, or other things, most of us will not regularly run long distances.

But, all of us can take small steps to reach goals we set for ourselves. Large tasks may seem overwhelming. But when broken down—mile by magnificent mile—it is achievable.

To run a race, you have to place one foot in front of the other. Over and over again. Sure, some people have more speed. But, as long as you don’t give up and quit, you will finish!

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“Do you not know that in a race all the 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” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

So, let’s take it a step further as we run this race called Life…

1. Keep your eyes fixed on the goal. Jesus is the Champion. He already ran the perfect race, and will help us run our best. (see Hebrews 12:1-2)

2. We are in this together! We may run as individuals, but we support, encourage, and cheer each other on.

3. Run light. Get rid of any extra gear that will weigh you down. Get rid of sin, anger, fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. It feels so good to give our burdens to the Lord!

4. Keep moving forward, despite obstacles. Go around, through—whatever! Just don’t stop!

5. Track your progress. Look at how far you have come! Slow progress is still progress.

6. Trust in your training. When trials come, depend on your routine. You know what works. Runners run. Prayers pray.

7. Rest and recover. Walk if needed. Pace yourself. Do whatever it takes to finish strong.

8. Keep your head held high. Breathe in confidence. You are victorious, in Jesus’ Name!

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Questions: What goal are you running toward? What are some steps you can take?

3 thoughts on “Race Toward Grace!

  1. Dear Natalie, your posts are always so “right on”. Thanks for being open to God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Thanks, Carmen. I like to highlight what God is doing in other people’s lives. His grace extends to all of us, whether we are aware of it or not. 🙂

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