#runthegoodrace, #spiritualwarfare

“Hell” runs! They appear more often than I would like to admit!!!

I have been running for twelve years now. Athletic running, that is. If you live here in Texas you know that summer runs can be excruciating and ruthlessly hot. A few years ago I had an insane urge to go for a run in the middle of July close to 11 in the morning. By then, it was close to 100 degrees already. For some crazy reason, I took off. Needless to say, the heat beat me to a pulp. I swore I was going insane and I vowed to never do it again. Funny thing is that the next day I had a crazy psychotic urge to do it again. Before I knew it, I ran the suicide run for a week straight. Those who found out lectured me and warned me about everything. I was told my brain would cook, I would go crazy (the real kind), that I would get a blood disease, and every possible crazy theory that people could think of.
One day, God spoke to me and said, “I am training you to run through the tough spots in life, what you can conquer in the natural you will conquer in the spiritual”. Whoa! The sunny spots on the road are the toughest, especially the ones towards the end of your run.  It is tough to discipline the mind on a hot run. The pain in your body has to be ignored if I wanted to get home quick. There is no room for leisure stops to rest, your thoughts of quitting must be silenced, even if you can’t breath, you run and you keep moving. Before I knew it my mind and body were trained to withstand the heat, to take the beating, and to keep running to make it home. I started with my two older boys. They joined me on my “hell” runs not knowing what to expect. Before they knew it, they were also training for life. The image I inserted is an actual “fire alley” at the last leg of our trail. We usually huddle in the shady spot before, we catch our breath, I set my “beat song on my playlist”, set our eyes on the other side and we GO! Don’t focus on the pain in the fiery trials, don’t lick your wounds, silence the voice that tells you to quit, make sure you look out for stumbling stones, yes,  it hurts, but whatever you do don’t even stop.~~~ “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2.
No, I no longer do “hell” runs, but I know I am able to do it. As for my children, I made sure they know what it feels like to push through the pain, to ignore the voices that tell them they can’t do it, to ignore the distractions, keep your eyes on the target on Jesus!
“Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Hebrews 12:2 the Message