To date, I’ve completed 19 half marathons, 4 marathons, and several distance themed relay events. Before each challenge comes a season of preparation, building mile upon mile in anticipation of the ultimate goal.
I wish I could claim credit for parallels found between running and spiritual matters, but the apostle Paul beat me by a couple thousand years.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
Like most distance races, there is the finisher medal at the end – the crown of life. Between the starting line and the day we see Elohim face to face, we encounter, some (if not all) of the same obstacles distances racers must endure.
My first marathon took 5 hours and 44 minutes to complete. Thankfully since then, I’ve worked to become faster, but even at my personal best of 4:2X, boredom can certainly be an issue.
Unless I make other preparations, a run of any distance can become tedious for lack of something to engage the mind. Likewise, unless we active focus our minds on that which is eternal, we can start to grow stagnate in our walk with God.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-3
I’m especially guilty of this in my prayer life. I get bored praying for the same thing over and over, so I get distracted, or in some cases stop praying all together. I find this to be especially true when praying for the salvation of a family member or friend.
When I’m running, I fight boredom with conversation and music. For my first marathon, I wore a bluetooth and had friend and family call me along the way. These days I just schedule a long run with my running buddies.
How drastically different my prayer life becomes when I open up to Him for honest conversation! Even if its frustration, honest prayer is better than silence. At the least with honesty I am admitting my powerlessness and His ultimate authority.
Also, whether in athletics or spiritual drought, never discount the value of a good play list. When God is quiet, songs of adoration help adjust my perspective, angsty Christian rock helps me vent my frustrations, and upbeat tunes help me find my joy.
What coping strategies do you employ when you feel weighed down with the tedium of everyday life?
Abba – May we stay ever-captivated as we stand in Your presence.