…rabbit, run, run run.
Last Sunday, along with a shed load of other people, I ran the London Marathon…It was a joy and a pleasure, as well as total agony. The thing that I found really funny about the marathon is that it is this massive event, but for me it was just the public face of my private hard work.
To steal a quote from ASICS…
“I am made of all the days that you don’t see, not just the one that you do”
Last Sundays race is a mere small part of the story. For any marathon runner it is the hours and hours of training that make up the journey. Sunday was the culmination and pinnacle of a year of my life. This time a year ago, I was 4 stone heavier than I am now and I couldn’t run about 400 metres without having to walk (and cry a little bit)…this last year has been one of lots of hard work, sweating, discipline and choice. It has been a year of small steps and long runs, months of pain, weeks of forcing myself out the door. A lot of it has been really boring and some of it lonely.
It has been one of the hardest years of my life. Yet probably the most rewarding.
For the me of a year ago, running a marathon was entirely out of reach. I’d have never made it round. In fact, I would never have started the race in the first place. Without the training I’d have been destroyed by the 26.2 miles.
Training to get where we want to go is important, but the first step is the hardest. My mantra for a year was “Get going”. Without that first step, I would still be sat on my couch. No finishers medal, no adventure, no memories.
What is it that you’re putting off that God is calling you to do…? What is it that God has spoken to you about that has been lingering because that first step is a bit scary and hard?
IN AND OUT
What goes in must come out. It’s the hidden stuff that shapes the public.
As I mentioned, race day was just a small part of the rest of the journey. I’ve loved that most of my 750 miles have been done with no one else there, no one seeing it, no one cheering me on.
So it should be with following Jesus. It’s the hidden stuff that shapes the public. It’s who we are in our private lives that determines who we are in our public lives. What goes in when no one is looking is what comes out when everyone is there. Had I spent the last year of my life doing no training; eating, drinking, sleeping rather than running, then it would have shown on race day. I would have collapsed far before the end.
For me to finish the run, I had to put the ground work in behind the scenes. It couldn’t just be public bit that looked right, it HAD to be the private bit. One without the other doesn’t work, and we get found out.
There are lots of metaphors and lessons from running that apply to this Kingdom life. We persevere, we keep plodding, we train to be the best we can be, it’s easier when we do it together…loads of ways that the two things fit together. But for me the main lesson is that if the private life is right, the public life will work itself out. My confidence in finishing the race was because of the hard work in private.
Will we finish this race well?
I’d love to hear your thoughts,