May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else.
John Bingham, No Need for Speed
“All of us, fast and slow alike, can experience something that is just as sweet as winning. My message is that even if you don’t land on the podium or run a personal best, even if you have a bad workout or are struggling with an injury, you can experience joy to the fullest.”
Ryan Hall, Running with Joy
No Need for Speed, written by John Bingham and Running with Joy written by Ryan Hall are two books that deal with running. The books are authored by famous runners, one known for speed and the other, his lack of speed. As I enter this new season for running, I have had a hard time figuring out where I am. I have reached the big goal…Boston. This one required the need for SPEED. Speed translates to training-tough days, hard workouts, lots of time and sometimes dread. Is this where I want to be? No, not now. There was a time and place for it…but not now.
Fun…that is where I am! Fun! After a year of training and working hard to accomplish a goal…I am ready for FUN.
Understanding there is
No need for speed! (For now anyway…)
This week I have been in Destin, Florida clearing my mind, taking in the rays and running for my soul(in the humidity.) You know, it is easier to run when it is warm if you are closer to the beach. When you are done, just jump in and immediately you cool off. I love it!
God has talked to me and shown me His handiwork everyday. He has allowed me to find the joy I had lost in running. There was a joy in my training for Boston, don’t get me wrong! I loved it! I wouldn’t change it for the world. I experienced God work in ways I never ever imagined. New friends were made. New places were explored. New heights were reached. It was amazing!! God showed up in big ways!!
But now…where do I go now that I have reached the mighty goal of the Boston Marathon??? Not sure, I have been kind of lost. Lost without a purpose. Running was not much fun. I didn’t have to run anymore…so, I didn’t. It felt strange.
This week I have finally figured it out. The last two weeks have been good running weeks. I have been able to log over 30 miles both weeks. It felt great! Why now? What changed in the last 2 months? I found FUN! I started Finally Understanding there is No need for speed! I slowed down. I stopped using my watch. I ran to take in my surroundings in again. I ran to run. I ran to listen. I ran to pray.
Now, will I take this stance forever? I don’t know. But, most importantly I run for my health. Running allows me to take care of the body God gave me. It is His temple. As long as my body is healthy and able, I want to run and most importantly run for Him.
The only constant in life is change. This change in my running is a welcome surprise. It is allowing me to slow down and smell the roses or should I say honeysuckle? Again, I have done this. I have been able to take it all in and enjoy it. I had just lost it. I have found it again.
God has shown me that this season is a slower season for me…a season of change…a season to mentor…a season of encouragement.
1 Thessalonians 5.11
Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
These verses are the foundation for this new season for me. I will find joy as I encourage and mentor others in their running. I will pray for those I mentor and I will give thanks for this slow season as I did my faster one. God is good…all the time. His will is my desire.
As I approach this mailbox or season in my life I will approach it with gladness as well as anticipation. This will allow me to help others and help myself at the same time. Spiritually, I need to slow down and listen. I need to hear God speak. I need to be ready for what He has in store for Mike and me. Mike was my number one supporter throughout the Boston journey. It is now time for me to give back to him what he gave to me. God is showing me Newsom Woodworks is the next mailbox, as I said earlier. In the silence and in the calm I will find the strength to encourage and build up what God has in front of us. He will be our guide. He will be our strong tower. He will be our Voice of Truth.
God knows I like to be busy. Racing and focusing on races helped me fulfill the need of doing something and succeeding. Now, I will use that time and that focus to follow the plan God set in motion many years ago when He planted a dream in Mike’s heart…Newsom Woodworks. I will also use that time to help a special group of ladies reach their running goals as we train for a 1/2 marathon in September. The team I2 is made of newbies and veterans. We will do this together. Iron sharpening iron. I2 is what it what it is all about! Proverbs 27.17 ~ As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
In this next season, Proverbs 27.17 will be what I strive to live with both Newsom Woodworks and Team I2!
Running slower and blessed!