We are working to finish the race of faith

Published 1:00 am Saturday, April 22, 2017

Two years ago, I began a new adventure – one I never thought I would be able to do.  A friend of mine invited me to a unique Bible study group that she felt the Lord leading her to start.  I attended the first meeting of “Run for God 5K Challenge,” a practical guide to running and a 12-week training plan with a Christian focus.”

For someone who isn’t an outdoor person and certainly not athletic, I wasn’t sure if I could take on this challenge, but decided I would take the first step.  About 20 people showed up for the kick-off meeting.

We learned about stretching before and after a run, nutrition, hydration, pacing, goals, injuries, motivation and much more.  The blessings I’ve received from “Run for God” include new friendships and the encouragement more advanced runners have given me.  I’ve told them to call me, “Turtle.” Thankfully, it’s about endurance not speed.

Here’s the training plan for the “Run for God 5K Challenge.”  Our group meets three times a week.  Every meeting includes a Scripture and a prayer before we run and a prayer following each run to thank God for strength to make the run and protection as we run.

Each week challenged my endurance as we increased our running time between intervals of brisk walking.  After five minutes of walking, I struggled to run even one minute four times that first day.  Next we went to 90 seconds running, then three minutes, the following week five minutes, then eight minutes, 20 minutes, 27 minutes, and then 30 minutes.

We also learned that there are more 100 scriptures in the Bible that mention running – many of them apply to the Christian race of faith.  For instance, the writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJ).

The Apostle Paul says, “…Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” even running for Him!

(1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJ)  I will always remember my first 5K – though I admit at times I walked fast to catch my breath.  What a thrill to cross the finish line!  Other runners from our group cheered me on.

Last week when my father-in-law passed away, I thought about life and how we do not know when we will cross the finish line, only God does.  He lived 86 years and his health was declining, but we didn›t know he was so close to his finish line.  I imagined loved ones already in heaven rejoicing with him when he arrived.

Like the Apostle Paul, may we be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  2 Timothy 4:7-8


– Jan White is an award winning columnist. She can be reached at jwhite@andycable.com.