Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop: A lesson I learned while training for a marathon

If you’ve ever run long distance, there’s one thing you’ve probably realized somewhere along the long weeks of training.
Once you stop running in the middle of a long run, it’s hard to start up again.

This has happened on more than one occasion.
The road gets long. It gets hot. Your legs cramp up. You are thirsty. You are tired. You just want to stop. But you know.
You know that if you stop now, starting up again will be so much harder.
Your legs will feel like a million pounds and so you might as well just fight through the pain.
You might as well just keep right on going.

It’s just like this in life.
The road gets long. You get tired. You get hurt. You just want to stop. But you know.
You just know that if you stop now. If you quit now. If you turn around now…starting up again will be so much harder.

So many things about training for a marathon reminds me of life. It gets so hard in the middle of a 20 mile run. It’s so easy to question everything and it’s so hard to keep on going.

This week has thrown a bunch of different things my way. That happens for all of us, I know. I had a little bit of time where I started wondering if I should just stop. I wondered if I should just stop blogging, stop serving people, stop The Porch, stop loving people, just stop everything.
I know that these feelings and emotions were not from God. Not even close. And I had to realize that very fact in order to keep running my race.
I’m running the race God has for me.
Not for you. For me.
And if I stopped. If I gave up. If I gave in…I knew I wouldn’t want to stay there forever. So I knew there was going to come a point where I would have to start up again.
And it hit me. This is just like training. This is that exact feeling.
I can’t stop. I won’t stop. I am running my race. I am not a quitter. And if people try to get me down. If finances try and stop me. If headaches try and beat me down. If anything tries to stop me from running my race, I have to fight back. I have to understand what is at the end…the finish line.
This race I’m running is the very one God picked out for me. I am exactly where He wants me. Nothing that comes into my life is taking Him by surprise, and I am trying every day to live my life to please Him.
Sure. I fail. A lot. But I can’t stay down because then He convicts me, and pushes me forward. Because that’s the kind of God He is. He allows these things to come into my life to push me closer to Him. (sometimes gently prodding, sometimes shoving)
So that’s where I’m at. I’m so close to Him, because that is where I have to be.
I can’t stop. I won’t stop. I am running my race.

can't stop

Where are you? Are you at mile 15 and feeling like you have already run too far? But now it’s too far to turn around and run home, so you just want to drop down and quit?
Get up! Keep running!
You can do this.
You can keep moving.
You are strong enough.
And the training is what makes you stronger in the end.
Don’t give up.
Don’t let people’s words get you down.
Don’t let a lack of money discourage you.
Don’t let your health hold you back.
Keep fighting. Keep running.
You can do this. I can do this. We can do this together.
Now get up. Wipe the dirt of your hands. Put one foot in front of the other and push on. You got this.
Run. Your. Race.

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