Friday, November 13, 2015

Fix Your Eyes on What Lies Before You

This Sunday I will be running my very first ever 5K.

I'm a little nervous, although I really don't know why. I'm not in it for the race. It's a personal thing. My daily runs are typically a little over 3 miles, so I know I can run the race. Maybe I'm nervous because there will be a LOT of other runners there. Although why that should matter, I have no idea. Maybe it's because this is "an athletic event," and I am so not an athlete.

We recently watched the movie, Unbroken. Honestly, I had no idea what it was about except that a man survived in a lifeboat for like 50 something days. It was a lot more than that. A LOT more.

I liked it right away because he was a runner, like I've become (I'm actually a jogger--I don't "run," but jogger sounds so, I don't know...eighties...runner just sounds better).

This guy was actually an Olympic athlete. (I am far from that!). But when he first started running as a young kid, he had the belief that he couldn't do it, that he was a nobody. He'd never make the track team.

His brother said to him, "If you can take it, you can make it."

That became his mantra and kept him going through the horrific things that he was made to endure (so much worse than being adrift in the sea in a lifeboat!).

What a marvelous story. If you haven't seen it, watch it! I won't spoil it for you, like I did with Inside Out.

I still marvel at the fact that I can actually run 3 miles. Every time I run, I think, "I can't believe I am actually running." It's really kind of funny---even though I have been doing this for months now, I have this thought EVERY TIME. I think I've said it before:

I hated running. HATED, HATED, HATED!

Just couldn't do it.

Swore I was allergic to exercise.

But something, no someONE was so in this that it's hard to deny. It wasn't simply my willpower saying, "If I can take it, I can make it."

Every time I ran, and every time I still run, I feel like God is behind me encouraging me to press on. He's in front of me, urging me to keep my eye on the goal, and He's beside me, whispering in my ear, "Tighten your core and press on up over that hill, then you're almost there. You can do it!"

If I can take it, I can make it is a great "mantra" but I prefer to dwell on scripture to "make it."

This is the one that has become my "mantra" (for lack of better word):

Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:14).

What are you struggling with today? What is it that you keep telling yourself you can't do? What if you just forgot what you believed in the past and decided to believe that you can do anything, no...all things through Christ, who gives you strength (Phil 4:13)?

Forget the former things! Don't dwell on what you believed in the past because God will do a "new thing" in you if you are open to it (Isaiah 43:17,18). He did in me. And He can in you, if you're willing.

If you're in Christ, the old has gone and the new is here (2 Cor 5:17), so maybe it's time to stop dwelling on your past beliefs, your past excuses, your old ways and step out in faith, trust, and determination to take hold of the new creation that God has purposed you to be. 

That doesn't mean you have to physically run. It simply means that it's time to pay attention to that nudging, that thing that you've been avoiding that you know God is trying to get your attention about. Stop believing the old lies that you've told yourself for years---the ones that say, "I can't."

It's time to forget what's behind and strain toward what is ahead (yes, straining is sometimes painful and difficult--that's why it's called straining). 

Press on!

Like a 5K race, there is a prize at the end. Only this one is for all eternity--Christ Jesus.

Run the race with perseverance--like my sweatshirt that I'm hoping to wear at the race (if it's cool enough) states:

Blessings Along the Path,

PS: Be sure to check back on Monday-I'll post pictures from the race.

sharing this blog with some of these.. 


  1. I love Hebrews 12, and your words today are an encouragement to me in my goal to walk each day. What a blessing that discipline has been -- once I get moving. I can think of a million excuses each day NOT to walk. If you liked the movie "Unbroken," you'll LOVE the book!

    1. I'm listening to it on an audio version, Michele. I have recently discovered that I LOVE audio books and listen when I run because it forces me to concentrate on something other than my breathing, my pulled muscle or how far away I am from the end.

  2. The Scriptures you've chosen are the exact ones I was dwelling upon yesterday while scouring Rachel Wojo's book, One More Step. They're life-giving, those words of His. So thankful to find them here again, along with your encouraging words. And yes, LOVED the movie as well. But running? Well, I'm a hater. Maybe, just maybe, that will change.

    1. just never know, Kristi! God has a way of turning our dislikes around---He DEFINITELY has a sense of humor! Thanks for visiting.

  3. I didn't see the movie, but I read the book Unbroken. It was very inspiring. What I loved so much, too, was that after all he'd been through - and his initial resistance to the Lord - he finally made his way down the aisle at a Billy Graham crusade and accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. He started on a new race!

    Yes, I also love that verse you quoted. The enemy of our souls would love to mire us in the past. He's a master at poking us with accusation, guilt, and discouragement. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, and listening only to His Truth, is the only way to cross the finish line (even if we're exhausted!!)

    Good luck on the 5K, and know that every step of the way, your Savior is running with you!!


    1. Thank you, Sharon! The movie doesn't mention the Billy Graham crusade. When he's in the raft, he tells God that if He saves him, he will dedicate the rest of his life to Him, which, the movie says, was a promise he made good on. They didn't elaborate.

  4. Good for you Mary! How was your run? I'm so not a runner/athlete. I loved your analogy - keeping my eyes fixed. Amen! Blessings to you!!

    1. Thanks Deb. You can read about the race here: Thanks for asking, and for visiting.