A few months ago, I ran another half marathon. Every time I run a long race, it is as though I can feel God sending me a word of encouragement. I would like to share with you ladies two things I learned when I ran the half marathon in Mainz, Germany two months ago: Don’t look back; and don’t keep looking at your watch to find your pace!
First, lets start with not looking back. The half marathon took place on a cool May morning in Mainz a lovely city on the Rhein River. I ran the race with my friend Kim, and this was her first half-marathon. When we arrived for the race, we noticed that there were thousands of people running and we were at the end of the line. We were so far back that we ran nearly 10 minutes before getting to the start line! As we began the race, we noticed were still at the end and we weren’t passing anyone. We kept a steady pace, but every now and then I would notice my friend checking her watch. I would tell her not to check her timing or messages, that I would let her know our pace and that we were doing just fine. We were not in it to win it – we just wanted to finish!
I noticed a couple near us – they too seemed to be running their first race. The man kept looking back to see who was behind him. Sometimes, he spent so much time looking back that he didn’t seem to pay attention to where he was going and he fell down. He seemed so concerned with who was behind him that he couldn’t see where he was going. This immediately reminded me of the Biblical story of Lot’s wife in the bible. In Genesis Chapter 19, we learn that Lot and his family were fleeing Sodom (and Gomorrah) and they were warned not to look back, or risk being turned into a pile of salt. Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pile of salt. I also see another deeper lesson in this — that sometimes when we are running the race of life, and look back, we can fall because we focus on the past and not the present.
The same thing happens when we look at the time and doubt God’s promises to us because we are older or we have been waiting for years. Looking at a watch can cause anxiety when you run because you fear you are not going fast enough. When it comes to our faith walk, we might also be focused on time because we fear that God won’t keep his promises to us. As Christians we must trust that everything will be in God’s timing and he is in charge of the life watch. I share this message with you today because I have been guilty of looking back. I have also been guilty of checking the time to see how I am doing based on my timeline and not God’s perfect timing. I must trust God to take care of the time for me and to make the path ready for me to run it.
It is my hope, dear ladies, that you too, run your race with God in such a way that you do not get tripped up by looking at the past, or checking your watch to see how fast you are going. If we trust in Him, and follow His plan for our lives, then we can be sure that God will take care of the time, so that we can focus on the race. Have a wonderfully blessed day.
I ran the marathon with Kimberly Lecar, a broadcaster and Christian singer/song writer. I am proud to announce that Kim is doing the audiobook for Running For Your Life! which will be available for sale right before Christmas. Thanks Kim for being a great running partner and friend!