Friday, September 9, 2016

Why do you run?

Every runner has been asked at least once, “Why do you run?” Most likely, you too answered this more than once? I began running in sixth grade because I loved sports yet I was absolutely lousy at playing baseball, football, and basketball.

You may have begun running due to an encouraging invitation from a friend or coach. Perhaps you have run competitively for many years or decades. Others begin running for health benefits such as losing weight or they simply set a goal to complete a specific race or race distance such as a 10K, half marathon, or a marathon.

Additionally, some begin as a way to relax after work as well as a time for reflection and meditation regarding work, family, life in general, the Bible, or all the above.

Our reasons to run often vary depending on our fitness and health, the calendar, experience, ability, and goals.

Regardless of why we run, we eventually enjoy, at least to some extent, all of the above reasons. Runners enjoy competing, covering miles with friends, the physical and mental challenges, health benefits, achieving goals, and relaxing.

What do you think about while running?

Additionally, our meditative minds sometimes drift into what I have longed called Lala Land, becoming oblivious to our surroundings as we soar into a near dream state of deep thoughts with a highly creative state of mind.

Powerful ideas arrive like flashes of lightning. Moreover, when in Lala Land, we swiftly and effortlessly cover the miles, feeling as if we could seemingly forever run fast. If only we could automatically record each of these original, insightful ideas while in Lala Land?

How we define and respond to our ultimate purpose(s) for running determines whether our running possesses eternal value or ends with our earthly life (1Corinthians 3:12-15). Do you, like me, easily focus on only the self-gratifying aspects of running?

Is my Life and my Running anchored in Christ?

Socializing, relaxing, meditating, goals, competing, and health benefits all represent wonderful pursuits in life as long as our primary purpose for each of these to serve and glorify God (Colossians 3:17).

Our sinfulness demand that we seek and accept forgiveness of our sins (Romans 3:23) and continually extend Christ’s grace and mercy to everyone we encounter (Ephesians 2:8). This includes our relationships with fellow runners, bicyclists, those in automobiles, pedestrians, race officials, along with anyone else we encounter. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Fortunately, we have an internal helper for this formidable task, the Holy Spirit (1Cor 3:16-23), sent to us by Jesus Christ from God the Father (John 14:16).

He reminds us that God created everything in existence such as you, those with whom you run, the ground and surfaces we run on, the chemistry and fabrics of our apparel, vehicles, fuel, the sunrise and sunset, as well as the stars in the sky that we enjoy while running in the dark (John 1:1-3).

One of the tougher challenges in serving and glorifying God is our innate desire to depend on our human wisdom to rationalize our running ups, downs, and everything in-between rather than trusting God in everything (Proverbs 3:5-7).

Trusting and serving God includes pointing people towards the Lord Jesus Christ and His word in the Bible even when we perceive to risk embarrassment or rejection.

Trusting God initiates appropriate action (James 4:17), while rejecting complacency (Prov 1:32). While appropriate action varies from one interaction to the next, it always includes sincerely wanting Christ’s best for everyone.

Persistently thank God in Christ for the ability to run, the challenges along the way to remind you of your dependence on Him in all of life, those whom you met, and that you glorify Christ regardless of your ability, time, or placing.


1.     Take a deep, sincere interest in those with whom you run. Most of us get to know those with whom we run beside very well through the course of miles and conversations.

2.     Listen and ask how you may pray for them, their friends, and families. Record these prayer requests in a secure, yet convenient place to find them.

3.     Listen with the desire to serve and glorify God.

4.     Only promise to pray if you will indeed pray for them.

5.     Pray fervently (Acts 12:5; James 5:17). Check-in occasionally, whether in person or a quick note, reminding them of your prayers and for updates or changes to the request.

6.     With Love and Truth, share God’s word from scripture with your friends. This will soothe their and your hearts and hurts.

7.     Read the Bible ten to fifteen minutes a day, even more if you prefer. Seek the contextual meaning of the scripture.

8.     Continually pray for God’s guidance in your running and your running relationships.

9.     Ask God to shine through you at all times, ask that your face, gesture, and words may reflect Him to everyone you encounter, including drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

10.  When running alone or meditating, fervently pray that He guide your thoughts and that they each manifest to serve and glorify Jesus Christ.

11.  Frequently remind yourself of the above. It’s so easy to make our running mostly about ourselves.

For the cause of Christ, who may I serve today? ~ Charles Gibbs


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Ø  How do leaders recognize, listen, respond and share this guidance?

Ø  How do leaders and believers know His non-audible voice (John 10:27)?

Ø  Is the guidance received audibly, in the heart, mind or soul?

Ø  Does God speak to us through other people?

Ø  Does God speak to us through physical events and/or circumstances?

Ø  What are three understandings of discerning God’s guidance?

Ø  The Christian’s Five Essential Daily Questions

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