Running Steady and Consistent Does Not Always Mean Running Fast

Recently I have tried to get back into running. I started to use a running coach app that teaches and encourages me throughout my run. A major focal point of the first few runs has been the different types of runs. There are recovery runs, interval runs and even max effort runs. The first two of my runs were recovery runs. These runs are about running at an even and consistent pace. The progression of each run is to start slow, ease into the full run and allow my body time to wake up and realize its being active.

Regardless of the type of run, easing into it is critical. When I look back at my previous runs I see that I am not running faster, which isn’t the purpose, but I am keeping a steadier pace throughout the run. This is a win. When I was running before, I would always try to be faster throughout, but would end up being slow at the end.

Running with revelation

As I ran with this new mindset, I was hit with a revelation. What if my spiritual run was like this? What if instead of constantly living in spiritual highs and lows, I could live a consistent and steady spiritual life? The mindset of running a certain speed, or distance had to shift. I just had to get out and enjoy the run. Similarly, my life mindset had to shift. It had to shift from obtaining accomplishments and goals by a certain age, or time to enjoying what and where life has me right now. Do you find yourself getting this huge wind of spiritual high after hitting bottom to then only a few days later hit bottom again? This kind of fluctuation of spiritually can be harmful to our relationship with God and ultimately burn us out.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lords work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT

Our faith should be consistent

While we may have times of great triumph which our praise and thanks are elevated, our faith and hope should not fluctuate. If our faith is only high when good things are happening is it really faith? Often in life we can get stuck in this performance identity that tells us if things are going a certain way life is good, God is good. If I’m finishing my miles under a certain time then all is well and life is good, God is good. But if we aren’t performing to what this false identity is telling us, then we believe that something is wrong. We believe that God must be mad at us, or he doesn’t care about us anymore.

“Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.” – Hebrews 12:1

We aren’t called to run as fast with max effort for the rest of our lives. We are to run at a pace that allows us to consistently build upon our lives, so that we are a better version of ourselves than yesterday. Maybe you have issues with anger, or dealing with someone at work. Each time you get into a situation that makes you angry, I encourage you to find a way to deal with your anger better each time. Let this be your practice until eventually… it is not an issue.

That is breakthrough. That is God working in your life. And if you aren’t getting better ask God why. Ask him what is that you are holding on to that isn’t allowing you to stay at a consistent pace. Trust me from experience, he’ll let you know if you let him!


Are You In A Difficult Season Of Life?

This post is for people, like me, who have been through difficult times in their lives. Translation: this post is for everyone. Going through times of trial is part of being human. In fact, we are either just coming out of a trial, currently in a trial, or about to go into a time of trial. That sounds depressing huh? The truth is that difficult times of trial do not have to be viewed as a negative thing. Although each person on earth has unique trials in their lives, I see three common points that are involved in trials for all of us.

1. We all have them.
The bible says to build each other up in faith. Build each other up as trials present themselves. We all have trials, but each trial is unique. Just because we may not struggle with the same thing as another does not mean that we should be insensitive and unwilling to build up someone going through a difficult season in their lives.

2. The deepest parts of ourselves are exposed.
The person that you truly are is who you are when you are in a rough time or under extreme pressure. We really learn who we are and what we can handle during times of trial. Although we look at this as a negative thing; knowing who we are deep down inside and what we are able to handle should be a positive thing.

3. We find ourselves.
A trialing time is going to magnify who you truly are on the inside. Sometimes we find ourselves during the trials; sometimes it isn’t until after it has past. Ask yourself this question: Who am I during times trial in my life? Finding yourself can be a beautiful thing if you use it to grow and develop into who you want to become in the future.

Trials are not supposed to be looked at negatively. However, we enjoy comfort so we look at a time of trial as being a bad thing. In reality, in order for us to become who we are supposed to be, we must go through some trialing times. The bible says in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Definition of Trial: a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness.

What if we viewed the difficulties in our lives more as quality tests instead of seeing them as horrible times? James 1:2-3 says to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance.

I grew up playing city league baseball. I can remember going to these huge recruiting days as a kid. You would get out there, they would put you in some simple scenarios, some difficult ones, and in some that seemed impossible. I always wondered why the coaches would do that. I realize now that it wasn’t to see if I could do something impossible, it was to see how I reacted, adapt and grow in the trial when success seemed impossible.

If you are in a time of trial, I encourage you to change your mindset. Think of this season as more of a test to work on your most inward character and to find yourself on a greater level in the process. Above all else, stay encouraged! God has not left you; He is simply growing you for who He needs you to become. Finish this difficult season strong!