I can come up with lots of excuses why I'm having so much trouble returning to running. I am, after all, now creeping up on 52 years old. What woman in her right mind tries to start running again at 52? Never mind that the fastest women I know are only a few years younger than me, or that I can name at least half a dozen women older than me that I have yet to catch in a race.
I guess it's not a good idea to look at the spiritual race and use age as an excuse either. After all, God used Abraham and Sarah in their old age. I have to be honest though and admit I truly have no desire to be 90 and pregnant, and I don't even want to think about being 106 and dealing with a teenager! Still, I guess I'd better not use age as an excuse.
Well, there's my knees. Surely I can use those as an excuse....I can until I see the pictures of soldiers racing after losing their legs in the war. I can complain about my aches and pains until I see someone like Bethany Hamilton coming back to surfing after losing an arm in a shark attack.
I can try and use my aging limbs as a spiritual excuse as well. But God has promised to renew my strength so that I rise up with wings like eagles - run and not be weary, walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31) Plus, there's old Jacob who wrestled with God and forevermore had a bad hip. Okay, so I'll drop the aches and pains excuse.
Time! That's it! I don't have time! I am a full time teacher, mom, wife, and part time blogger! I just don't have the time! Yet, time is the one thing we all get in an equal amount each day. The question is how we spend it. I may not have hours to go for a run, but to be honest, even if I had that kind of time, I'm not at that level! For me right now, a good 45 minute run is about all I can handle. I have the time for that. If and when I get to the point I can do more, I'm sure the time will be there. That's the way it seems to work. We feel we don't have "enough" - not enough time, resources, patience, provision...but to be honest, it's all just one big excuse.
I am reminded of the story told about Corrie Ten Boom. The following is a short section from a letter she wrote:
"When I was a little girl, " I said, "I went to my father and said, "Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ." "Tell me," said Father, "When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?" "No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train." "That is right," my father said, "and so it is with God's strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need just in time"
-Corrie Ten Boom-1974
No matter what it is that I need to run for God, it will be there when I really need it. Years of life, health, time, resources...He holds whatever I need until the day I really need it. The question is will I step out in faith so that He can bring me to that point?
One by one, I am seeing the excuses for what they are - something that tangles around my legs and weighs me down, trying to get me to quit this race. Seeing them for what they are is a huge part of coming back to running. Nope, no more excuses.
Still, there is something else that seems to be holding me back...and the next blog will deal with that.
Part 3 - Tell the truth to yourself