I have been fostering a habit of running regularly in the morning for the past several years and although a couple of times I have fallen away from it due to injury or just scheduling, I have been back at it and enjoying it immensely. Certainly, as anyone who has run for exercise can attest, it is an acquired taste. Not everyone who goes out and runs three miles finds it a delight on the first go.
When I first started it was hard to run a mile. But now I am routinely running 5 miles, and I actually look forward to running and miss it when I don’t get a chance. But running for me has grown from a discipline to a joy!
I enjoy running, not because of the physical exertion as much as the time alone, the mental exercise of listening to good sermons while I run, and the chance for early morning prayer. I run for joy!
I think running is a good illustration of life in general. Even the apostle Paul used running as an illustration. In 1 Corinthians 9:24 Paul says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”
I am convinced that all of us are running. This life is often like a hamster wheel of get up, down the coffee, do the stuff, come home do the stuff, go to sleep, repeat! Not to be cynical but life gets very repetitive and cyclical, but there is one thing I think all of us are running for, namely, JOY! We all want true joy in life. And the paradox is that true joy is not found in running, true joy is not found in working, true joy is not found in family, and true joy is not found in entertainment! True joy is found in worshipping God! That is because we were made for worship.
So running is not the end, but is a medium of worship. I run and glorify God in running. Family is not an end in itself, but it is an avenue of worshipping God. So that rather than worshipping our family, we worship the God who has entrusted us with family. Rather than worship running, we worship the God who has given us that capacity, rather than worship entertainment, we worship the God who has given us the common grace of leisure and humor.
My bottom line question for you is simple. What are you running for?