Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Running the Race

Last night I went for a run. I’ve started running more at night than in the morning. For me, it’s easier to run when it gets dark, than in the morning; it probably has to do with the temperature. It feels cooler after the sun has set, around 8:30 or so, than if I run at 6 or 6:30 in the morning. But for some reason, it was just a tiring run last night. Sometimes I run and feel like I could go for hours; on those days it’s a joy to run, and it’s actually relaxing. On other days, though, my legs might feel like a ton of bricks. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a busy day, or maybe it’s the weather. Whatever the case, sometimes it’s hard to keep up the motivation to run.

Our spiritual lives are like that as well. There are a few different references to running in the Bible. For example, Paul hoped, in Philippians 2:16, that he might “boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” Also, in Hebrews 12:1, it says “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Our spiritual lives, and the things included: praying, worshipping, reading the Bible, make up the race that is our faith. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and we’re called to continue to run this race. But there are days where we just don’t feel like it. We can be fatigued or worn out. On those days we might not run as fast, but the call is for us to simply stay in the race.

I’ve tried to use that comparison as a motivator for me. I run because, well, I’m in the Army and I need to pass physical fitness tests. I want to be physically healthy. In a similar way, we train spiritually in order to maintain spiritual health.

It’s usually more fun to work at one’s spiritual life than to run. However, there are times where the spiritual exercise starts to feel tiring, and we feel like we want to just set it aside for a while. The important thing is to keep our eyes focused on Christ, who is the strength and motivator for the journey. It’s to understand that, at the end of the day, we’re not running the spiritual race in our strength, but rather, wholly depending on God to get us through.


Anonymous Ian said...

Amen to that...keep running the race and finish strong! Prayers are with ya....


4:29 AM  

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