I was running on Sunday with one of my running partners, Brynn, and was using it as a part-training session, part-therapy session. I think this is pretty typical for running partners, right? I hope so!
As we ran I recounted a story from Friday night. I was playing volleyball with some friends, some people I’d never met before. It came up that I worked at a running store and was a runner, and someone asked what my best pace was. I hemmed and hawed a bit–what distance? when? etc, etc, but finally said I’d recently run a half marathon in 1:50. The guy was very impressed, but at first I shrugged it off. Then I thought, “Wait a second. I ran a half marathon at a 8:24 pace! I ran 13.1 miles at an 8:24 pace! Dang! That is fast! I am fast!”
I told Brynn that it was just so like me, so like humanity, to look at myself and see what I can’t do. I can’t run fast enough to qualify for Boston anymore. I’m doubting that I have a shot at a 1:45 half marathon and should lower my expectations. I’m not feeling motivated to run right now with another bout of cold weather and LOTS of wind. All these “can’t’s” when I should be looking at what I just DID! I ran faster than I ever thought I could and faster than the majority of half marathoners! That’s amazing!
My three summers of camp counseling at Scioto Hills Christian Camp weren’t wasted. It’s been ingrained in me to be able to take any practical, tangible situation and translate it to the spiritual level and I quickly did this while running. Like my running, I am SO quick to look at my spiritual life and see all I can’t do. I can’t be good enough. I can’t be patient. I can’t be consistent at reading my Bible. I can’t earn God’s love. When in fact, none of those can’t’s matter at all.
All that matters is what he CAN do and what he HAS DONE. Christ has made the ultimate sacrifice. He has done all the work already. He has run the race, paid the price, shed the blood, conquered sin and death. I have nothing to do with this, but to accept that He has done it all for me. Not because of any good I did, but because He is good.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost”