May 06, 2019


Devotion for the Week...

Paul and I have registered to run the Tely10 at the end of July. The Tely10 is a 10 mile, or 16 km, road race that we've been considering for a couple of years and this is the first time we're going to run it. I've never run 16 km at once before, but I'm really looking forward to the race.

To get ready, I'm using TrainAsOne, which is an app that creates individualized training plans that sync with my Garmin Forerunner 235 running watch. The app sets the duration and pace of each workout, then uses the data from the Garmin to analyze my performance and adjust my future runs as needed. I love the program, especially for the different types of runs it sets for me. There are interval runs (intervals of very fast with recovery periods in between), repetition runs (very short bursts of what I call 'crazy fast' with periods of recovery in between) and economy runs (steady runs at what the app has determined as my natural pace) among others.

The length of each run varies, with most of mine falling in the 25-60 minute range at this stage of my training. Sometimes, though, the app schedules an 11 minute economy run, which hardly feels worth the effort of changing into my running clothes. On one of those really short runs a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about how 11 minutes just feels silly and then I thought about how, for someone who doesn't run, 11 minutes would feel like an impossibility. If you're not in the habit of running, doing so for 11 minutes straight just isn't going to happen.

Over the weekend we were talking with my sister-in-law, Kim, about when she used to run a couple of years ago. She said that when she first started she'd walk from one light pole to the next one, then run to the next, walk to the one after that and then run to the next one. By slowly increasing the distance she ran, she eventually got to where she could run for 30 minutes straight. It was hard, but it was good, too.

That conversation, plus my own thoughts during that last short run, made me think of this verse from Romans: "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance" (Romans 5:3). That's from the NLT translation. In place of 'endurance' the NIV uses the word perseverance and the KJV uses patience.

Whether we call it endurance, perseverance or patience, most of us want to have it for dealing with life. We don't particularly want to go through the process of developing it, though. We just want it to spring forth, fully formed and functioning, so we can deal with the things life throws at us. Instead, it is those very things life throws at us, especially the hardest things, that cause us to develop the endurance.

Building up physical endurance is hard and it takes time and there's no substitute for doing the work. We can want endurance for years, but if we don't work to develop it then it will never happen. The same is true for spiritual and emotional endurance. Those difficult people in your life, the ones you have to be pleasant to even though you hate dealing with them all the time? They're helping to build your endurance. The financial situation you wish you could escape? Endurance. The chronic illness that has invaded your life? Endurance.
The hard things in life help to develop our endurance |
We all deal with things we wish had been indefinitely postponed, but whatever the situations, they're working to develop our endurance. Eventually, as we work through various hard situations, we will come to the place where things that used to bother us, don't bother us anymore, just as an 11 minute run can become so easy as to be laughable. It's hard, but it's good, too.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the race. I have NO endurance with running. 5 maybe 10 minutes and then walk. But I haven't done any training in some time..............


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