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!