I have never been a runner. Running for fun or physical training just isn't my thing.
In college I once tried to run a race, a race where they had a starting line and gave you a number to pin on your back and passed out water bottles on the sidelines.
I'm sure you can imagine how that went down.
I lasted approximately two minutes.
And with that, any inkling of setting a record or joining a runners group vanished. Running just isn't for me.
Four years later and I found myself running again. This time I had passion and heart and pep in my step. My head was down and my feet were pounding the pavement. Perseverance was in tact.
But friends, I was not running towards anything of worth.
I was running towards a false god, a false sense of happiness.
I was treating happiness like a destination.
But if I have learned anything from my battle with an eating disorder it is that happiness is not some place we arrive. Happiness comes and goes and is not consistent, but the joy of the Lord sustains.
The farther I ran from the truth, the more chaos built in my heart, my mind, my life.
A wise friend once said that when we run away from something we are always running toward something else. Quite powerful, no?
There will always be something better to run toward. Something bigger or flashier or sexier will always exist. Satan thrives in presenting these things and tricks us into thinking that if we just keep running towards happiness, toward lies, then life will be easier, more fun, and maybe even make more sense.
But what he doesn't share is that his way doesn't last. His ways are a temporary high. Satan shines the dreamy side of things. He specializes in non-disclosure. We can't ride that high forever.
Friends, this is not how God created us to run.
He created us to run wild and free toward the truth of the cross, not to the lies of the enemy. God gifted us with Jesus, put His son on a wooden cross, because He believed that we are worth it. Jesus paid it all that so we can run toward Him, with full abandon. Hurts and hardships and mess included. Blood was shed so that we can run without hinderance the race marked for us (Hebrews 12:1-3).
So let's fix our eyes on the goal. The one true prize. Not on the idea that the grass is greener on the other side.
There is always greener grass, friends.
Let's hold fast to truth, the truth that joy comes and stays when our eyes are fixed on the cross.
Let's join hands and run fast and hard and with the conviction that the grass we have been given is lovely and perfect and for our good.