I love how God helps us keep our goals in mind as we persevere.
When I first started to jog regularly, at the gym, I thought I was making some progress by jogging 3.5 mph. Hey, it was something:) Then I progressed to 4.0 mph, which was about killin’ me a first. Recently I pushed myself a little bit farther and started alternating between 4 and 4.5 mph. I really felt good about that. Then a few weeks ago I noticed a lady who was working with a personal trainer, nearby. This lady looked very new to working out and seemed to be extremely out of shape. I about had a heart attack, myself, though, when I saw the PT put the lady’s treadmill up to 5.5 mph! To me, that was how fast "runners" go…clearly this lady was not ready for that! She would make her run 5.5 mph, then make her do 20 jumping jacks, over and over again.
This caused me to think about my own goals with running. Surely if this lady could do 5.5 mph for even a minute at a time, I should be able to do that. So I put myself to the test the next time I was there. I started out with my warm-up and then gradually, for a minute at a time, kept upping my speed. A fascinating thing happened…I was able to keep up with the turning belt below me! I honestly couldn’t believe it.
Since then, I’ve learned to push myself a little bit further each time and not to settle for what I’ve always done. This week I actually jogged 1.5 miles in 19.5 minutes, twice! To a typical runner, that’s not a big deal, but for me…it’s huge! I’ve never done that before. This is the girl who would take several P.E. periods just to pass the mile for the physical fitness test, throughout junior high and high school. I think the requirement was to do it in under 15 minutes, just to pass. I am mortified to tell you that it usually took me a few tries just to get my mile at 15 minutes. (Sad!) So here I am, quite proud of myself for getting closer to my goal of being about to run a full 5K. If I work on my endurance, and pace myself, I’ll be fine to complete my 5K this summer, with no problem!
How much more do I need to challenge myself when it comes to maturing spiritually? Paul says to Timothy, "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Tim. 4.8) The Lord is, absolutely, concerned about my physical well-being. As a matter of fact, I sense His presence cheering me on each time I come closer to reaching my running goal! But, as always, He wants me to apply what I’m learning about the physical to the spiritual aspect of my life. "Keep challenging yourself to be a woman of God and work on your endurance! Pace yourself. You’re only 27! :)" That’s what He’s challenging me with today-with a smile:)