Monday, December 31, 2012

The Long Run of a Life Lived for Christ

It's the last day of the year and people all around the world are expecting the turning of the earth to reveal something new. Something that the 364 days before it didn't have time to show them. Sorry to disappoint, but it's not that simple.

In the beatitudes, Christ tells us that the poor, hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, reviled, and spurned will one day inherit a kingdom, be satisfied, laugh, and receive a great reward in heaven. All that is the long term. As a mortal on this earth, lack of means, food, love and acceptance are all very hard things to bear. In the near term, those things hurt. Just like running. 

The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win. -

Long distance running is a game of pain and patience. In the near term, each step offers no more instant reward than the last and is often no more comfortable than the last. No one step truly makes a difference in the near term.What matters in the long term is all of the steps taken over time - the long, drawn out haul down the road, track or trail.What matters is having the patience to push through any near term pain because of the promised benefit after a long period of toil. Just like faith.

Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light. - John Milton

For Christians and runners especially, the best things in life don't come around in a snap. Running and grace both require patience. 

So in this new year, try to think about changing yourself over the long haul. Try taking some of the painful steps that will pay off in the long run. And, just because I love the sport, try lacing up and hitting the road.

Tailwinds in 2013!