Faith and Running

I’ve been a runner for the last 7 years or so logging 40 miles per week on average except during marathon training when my peak mileage hits about 60 miles per week.  So most people look at me as a pretty serious runner, but running alone does not define me.  I’m also a devout Christian who studies the Bible and I’m very active in my church, currently serving on the Board of Evangelism.  In addition to my family, my faith and running are my passions.  So from time to time, I’ve toyed with the thought of somehow combining these passions of mine to help inspire others to both run and grow in their faith.   To that end, I’ve decided to start this blog to share my thoughts and experiences with the hope that others might find them interesting and find at least some inspiration.  Today I’ll start by looking to see what scripture has to say about running.

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

The first sentence says it all.  If you want to find new strength, like running a marathon without growing weary, then trust in the Lord!  This is easy enough to say, but in today’s world think about the implications.  I’m like most people in America, and I’m constantly barraged with advertisements that appeal to my materialistic nature.  I enjoy having the latest technology at my fingertips, and a nice home and the furnishings to go with it.  Would I have been just as happy in a smaller home and a cell phone that just handles voice calls?  Probably, but I made the decisions to spend the money that I did, and I signed the paperwork for the big mortgage to afford the home and lifestyle that I wanted.  Was I trusting in the Lord and giving the first fruits of my labors to Him?  Unfortunately, the answer is no, and it all started with how I spent my money.

What people spend their money on says a lot about what their values are.  Even now, as I fall short of tithing weekly by giving ten percent of my earning to the Glory of God, I find ways to justify myself.  One way is the thought that I have a family now, and I need to make sure they’re taken care of.  Another justification that I tell myself is that I am giving ten percent.  Well at least I am on what’s left over after paying taxes.  I know these lines of thought have to stop.  While there are countless ways to trust in the Lord other than money, I’m going to start there.  Money is something I hold onto strongly and the best way I can show my trust is by truly tithing.  So I’m going to increase my giving to ten percent of my total salary (bonuses included), stop making excuses, and cut out some of the extras that are not important.  For example, do I really need those mail order sunglasses that I’ve been receiving every month for the last 5 years or would one pair suffice?  What about my cable bill?  Do I really need all of those channels or can I make do with the basic package?  Are you ready to give to God first and then live on what’s left over?

I’m feeling a little anxious as I think about living on less and donating more, but I’m also excited at the prospect of really placing my trust in the Lord and experiencing the fulfillment of his promise that I will find new strength.  I’ll report back on my progress in giving and the ways in which God fulfills his promise.