I really wanted "The Runner's Devotional" by Dana Niesluchowski and Dave Veerman (father and daughter..very cool!) for Christmas. I had read a review and knew it would be a great asset to my running and my faith. Being the wonderful husband he is, Drew got me the book!
The book is great in that it does not have to be read in order. I don't have to read it every day. But, it speaks to me every time I read it...love that!
The first two chapters ask "what is your purpose for running". The authors state that just as Paul trained Timothy to minister to others, we as runners must have a purpose. Timothy's purpose was to "glorify God and serve Jesus Christ". 1 Timothy 4:7-8 states "...Train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come".
The authors ask " Do you spend more time focusing on your running routine than on your spiritual practices?...do you spend most of your time thinking about Christ instead of being Christ to those around you?
Wow! This really gave me some food for thought on my runs. What is my purpose for running? I know what it is NOT. I don't run because I am fast and win because I don't. I don't run because I love to get up at 4:45am to run in the dark because I don't. I don't run because I love to sweat buckets on hot summer mornings because I don't. So, why do I run?
I run because I LOVE to run! Running gives me energy. Running makes me happy. Running provides me with an avenue to show my children how hard work can bring great personal achievements. Running helps me show my children the value of physical fitness. Running challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone. Running allows me to eat ice cream and chocolate without much thought. Running teaches me things about myself and others. Running gives me alone time.
I LOVE to run for all those reasons and those are the reasons I started running so much after Elena was born. What has really come to be for me in my running is my quiet time. I run 90% of my runs in the dark which means no music. I am alone with my thoughts for 30-90 minutes several times a week. Sure I think about running harder, what my pace it, the day's schedule etc, but not for an entire run. That time has become my prayer and conversation time with God. I cannot make myself get up to read my Bible at 4:45 am, but I can to run. I use that time to be in communication with God. I cherish that time. I miss it on the days I do not run.
My running purpose is lots of things. My greatest running purpose is to spend time with God! He shows up every morning! As the authors ask "Are you running in circles or are you running toward God and his plan for you?" Well, I can honestly say that I am trying!