Last week was a rough training week for me. I wanted to run an 8:30 pace for my 5 mile run on Tuesday; when I finished, I checked my Garmin to see an 8:59 pace. Disappointment crept in alongside self-berating thoughts. Throughout the day on Wednesday I found myself dreading the 9 miles I needed to log after school. It was a cloudy day, and all I wanted to do was curl up on my couch with a book. I felt 25 pounds heavier during my 5 mile run on Thursday. I love running, but it really was a lousy running week for me.
On Friday we attended a Good Friday service at Nate's home church where I was reminded of the price of my sin. I've never been so affected by the crucifixion as I was on Friday evening. For a majority of the sermon my vision was clouded by tears. After the congregation slowly filtered out of the sanctuary in the dark, I lingered in my seat a little while longer contemplating all I had neglected in the past few weeks. I have pushed aside Christ and filled that spot with selfish, worldly desires.
I started this marathon training with intentions of glorifying God--pushing myself to new limits that I knew couldn't be attained without focusing on Christ. But in the last few weeks I traded my focus on Christ for a focus on myself. After my 18 miler, I grew too proud of myself and began growing a bit egotistical about all I have accomplished in the last 15 weeks. Last week was miserable because my focus was all screwed up. I was more worried about myself and how crappy I felt when I should have been more focused on how I could glorify God in my running. During my 14 miler on Saturday, I knew I had to realign my focus. When I think about all Christ went through so I could be counted as righteous, I am overwhelmed. This unconditional love Christ demonstrated for me on the cross should motivate me to work hard through the crappy runs and aches and pains. Running 26.2 miles is nothing in comparison to what Christ suffered here on earth.
When we begin to be motivated by fast times, recognition, and other forms of worldly success, we've lost our focus and we will eventually be defeated. It's hard not to focus on this when that's what we're surrounded by. But as believers we should lead an antithetic life--one that's opposite from what the world lives because we know that everything in the world (including our success) is temporary and will eventually let us down. We have our hope in eternal things--and though we can't gain more favor with God by doing certain things, we should strive to glorify Him in all we do...it's what He deserves. "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).
And I know I used this verse in my last blog post, but I don't mind being repetitive! John 3:30 states, "He must become greater; I must become less." If God is to be my priority and my center, then I must become less. As my miles increase to an all time high this week, I'm planning on saturating myself in God's word in order to make Him first and to bring Him the glory He deserves.