Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perspectives: Running and Idolatry

Seems I always have a lot I'd like to blog about, but very little time. I write my actual blogs in my head while I run, but then when I finally get to the computer, it hasn't been saved and I have to start all over again!

Just back from the retreat and a few things are in my mind.

First off: I really need to focus on serving my family more. I believe that is my most important calling at this point in my life.  It is so easy for me to get caught up in running, reading about running and writing about running., etc... Add to that my competitive nature and it can be a bad combination at times. I don't want to look back and think that I could have been a better mom & wife if I had only been a less competitive runner.

I really do love running. A LOT. I want to love the Lord more. Sadly, my actions often don't reflect my desired priorities. Instead they show my flawed realities: I am a selfish creature. This is something I need to work on daily.  Even when I am running, I try to pray for my family, or friends or even international issues, and find myself thinking about certain races ahead or behind me, goals and what-ifs. I fight to hold my thoughts captive and start my mental list of people who I know need prayer. I lift them up - and for a few moments I am using my time well.

During training, I like to listen to some podcasts when it's not dark out. One is from a speaker, Nancy Leigh DeMoss (free on itunes). She teaches women on all aspects of godly living from the Bible. She sets the bar high, and I love how she is both encouraging and challenging at the same time! :)

Another podcast I listen to is Voice of the Martyrs (VOM http://www.persecution.com/ also free on itunes) . It reminds me that there are people all over the world who would love the chance to worship without fear of being "found out", and going to prison or facing torture. I have heard some horrific stories on the VOM podcasts :( , but I have also heard of prayers answered. It always leaves me grateful to be in the USA and to be blessed with the free time & resources to worship and to run. What a gift it is to do either!

God has put me in this body for a reason. Is running really using it to glorify Him? I don't know...but I WANT it to be! He may have only given me one "talent" , but how am I using it to glorify His kingdom?

Besides using my time for the podcasts, prayer and worship music, I have considered trying to use running to raise money for charities/ministries; but, I am not sure that's what he wants me to do either. I am considering it though. There may be something in the works for me with this in the future. One organization I have looked at is Team 413, a ministry for endurance athletes. The team goes to races around the country and encourages athletes at races with guest speakers, lectures and by providing a Christ-like example . If you haven't heard of them, you should see their blog or visit their website at http://www.team413.org/ .

My main hope is that running (and blogging about running!) won't become an idol for me. I walk a thin line there. If you are willing, I would appreciate your prayers for me in this. It is my main concern in training for Boston.  And likewise, if there is anything you could use prayer for, please let me know.

Have an awesome Sunday and run for Christ!

10 comments:

  1. Good thoughts. It is so easy to let running become the focus.

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  2. Team413 looks really cool. Keeping you in my prayers!

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  3. Good post. Keep doing good work. Prayers are sent.

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  4. I have pondered on this issue as well. I feel very strongly that the Lord is pleased when we exercise and keep our bodies healthy. Thus I figure I'm doing His will when I run, and all other good thoughts etc are gravy. I sometimes listen to inspirational books on my ipod ("Believing Christ" is absolutely awesome). Or I run without and ponder and pray. But more often I just let my thoughts drift.

    I feel you will surely be blessed for your efforts to serve the Lord and keep Him uppermost in your mind. =)

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  5. I just saw your blog from a shout out on my friend's blog. I love this post. I just shared my same concern about running and God with my mom's group last week. I love that you have thought about the same issues! I love to run, but I also want to ensure I am being faithful with it in glorifying God. I am definitely a work in progress. I ran Boston 2009, when my kids were 11 mo, almost 3, and almost 5. I look forward to following your training! Joni

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  6. I sometimes ask myself the same questions as you, but mainly, how can I glorify God more through my running and my writing about running? It's only by the grace of God I am what I am and can do the things I do. God gave me this wonderful talent which I really enjoy but often feel I'm being too selfish and not giving him the glory. I constantly feel I should be giving him more - but how to do it?

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  7. I Praise God everyday for the ability to run. I believe that running allows me to reach out to people and profess my faith. I have ran my last 2 Marathons for St. Jude Heroes and raised $7,000 for St Jude Hospital. I was able to share time with our special needs adopted son while pushing him in a jogging stroller. God is still the center of my life. We lead a Christ centered life, running is a part of that life.

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  8. I really feel the same way, worrying that my running or time spent exercising at the gym takes away from my family but now that my boys are old enough to be at the gym we make it a family affair. I really believe God wants us to move and be healthy and this helps maintain a healthy body AND mind. I do see people that can make it and idol, you're right, but for the most part I think it can be approached in a good way. ~Sasha

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