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A Heart For God: Parable of the Jogger

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Parable of the Jogger

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win." (1 Corinthians 9:24)

I am a jogger. That's me jogging at Christmas time in the clickable picture (or a very skinny Santa!). I get up in the morning and I run. (Not every morning. I'm getting older.) I've been running now for well over three decades.

I've run in the day. I've run at night. I've run in the rain. I've run in the snow (deep snow). I've run in the heat (100s+). I've run in extreme cold. (I think 17 degrees in downtown Minneapolis is still the coldest. We've had some lower 20s that I've run in here in the foothills towards Yosemite.)

I've run when I felt good. (I like those days the best.) I've run when I had a pulled muscle in my leg (ouch). I've run with a twisted ankle (double ouch). I've run with a sore neck and bad back. (I know. I should have taken those days off.) I've run and fallen down. (I pride myself on not falling, but it happens.) I've slipped on ice and landed on my rear. (Ooo. I can still feel that one.) Another time I dislocated my shoulder in a fall in a field where no one could hear my calls for help. ("Can somebody please help me? Somebody?")

I've been chased by dogs (including ravenous chihuahuas). I've been bothered by drivers getting out of their cars. (I won't go into that.) I've seen dead deer (road kill). (I had to break the news to one person about their cat lying crushed in the street. I hated that.) I've even been hit by a truck that ran a stop sign. I know it sounds crazy. (Thankfully, I saw it coming.)

There are just a ton of analogies from a jogger's experience (mine) that relate to the Christian life (mine, too).

And we don't always "feel good", but we must keep running the race of faith (/following Jesus). Right? And even when the snow is deep and the cold is extreme, we must keep running. And even when our ankle is twisted, our neck is sore and our back is bad, we must keep running. When we fall down, we must keep running. When no one can hear our cries for help (/listens to us), we must keep running. When we're being chased (by "barking" circumstances), we must keep running. When we're "bothered" (assailed by principalities and powers ~ and sometimes including people, too), we must keep running.

Were you about to give up?

"Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; 'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home."

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