Running for a Reason: {Keeping the Focus on the Main Thing in My Exercise}

Monday morning I woke up late and the sun was high by the time my feet were pounding down our city streets towards the beach. With the humidity high and the sun unrestricted by clouds, I hoped that this misery would get me out of at an earlier hour the next morning. But when I finished that those hot, miserable 20 minutes and watched the miles tick upward on my phone screen I realized that I had reached a goal…

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I had run 500 miles. I set the goal in January of 2013 and started #go500.

I didn’t quite make it, but I celebrated anyways! And then I set the same goal for 2014...but I kept letting this year's miles add on to my miles from 2013, because I still wanted to know when I would hit that 500 mark. And it came on Monday, June 23rd. In just under a year and a half, I had run 500 miles.

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And that big, red 500 on my screen prompted me to reflect on my running. Not why I started to run, because my motives were different then, but why I’ve kept going and what my goal has become...

I’m not running just to hit a magic number. I’m not running because I want to accomplish a goal. I’m not running to loose weight. I’m not running so I can feel good about myself. I'm not running in order to be able to eat more junk.

And I get discouraged by the scale and by the heat slowing my pace and by missing a day because I overslept, but my husband keeps firmly reminding me... "It's okay. That's not why you're doing it. You're doing it to be healthy.”

To be healthy. I’m running to get strong so that... So that I can serve better. So that I can work harder. So that I can be more productive. So that I can develop a pattern of discipline in my life.

I’m not running for for strength or muscle or endurance in athletics. I’m running for a greater purpose. I’m running to empower my life for the glory of Jesus.

Because I know that my mornings are more productive when I start with the adrenaline boost of exercise. Because I know that I have a better perspective on the day when I let truth pour into my ears as I run. Because I know that this one habit will set a pattern and standard of hard work and discipline for my life as a whole…including spiritual discipline. Because I know that my body is temple and I am called to steward it well for the glory of God.

Most days, I forget this purpose and I get caught up in numbers and times and inches. But each day I’m striving to remember this…I’m running to empower my life and my attitude and my body for the glory of Jesus. I’m running for a reason.

Be blessed <3