There was a time I could not understand someone wanting to run a race and was determined not to, but the Lord had a different plan. I asked Joyce Ainsworth, author of Food, Freedom and Finish Lines, about racing. She encouraged me to start with a 5K. Thanksgiving seemed like a good day to burn off extra calories, so I entered a 5K Turkey Trot. I survived, I finished and I was thankful. The Lord sent another encourager, Sherry, who asked to arrive late to a training meeting, because she was competing in a triathlon. When she arrived at our meeting, we asked about the race. As she shared, I started thinking, “I swim. I bike. I run.” Sherry, a brand new friend, encouraged me, and something happened after I signed up for the Triathlon Sprint. I actually wanted to swim, bike and run. Not only that, but I looked forward to each training day. I finished the triathlon and have since competed annually. I have the Lord to thank for changing my desire.
Do you want the Lord to turn your wants into desires?
Step #1: Ask for a changed mind. When we love God with our mind, we ask him to change our “want to.” In Back on Track by Carole Lewis, Lavahn Stillwell shares her stubborn spirit about exercise. When she embraced the book’s Triple Dare, she experienced a new perspective about exercise. She was changed: “Now for me, it’s just like eating breakfast; I do it because I want to do it—for Him!” Miracles happen when we ask the Lord to change our mind.
Step #2: Sign Up. When we love God with our soul, we sign up for the race in obedience. It was the only reason I did my first race. It seemed the “next right thing.” I have the perfect first race for you. Join us at Summit 2015. Our theme The Race includes a run/walk we call The Half. It is a half 5K, approximately 1.5 miles. You can run or you can walk. We’ll have participants doing both. Sign up and experience the joy of obedience.
Step #3: Train. When we love God with all our strength, we put in the time to train. Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 9:25, Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Most of us run the race to finish without injury or embarrassment. Find a plan designed for your fitness level. When in doubt, ask your doctor for recommendations.
Step #4: Don’t go it alone. When we love God with all our heart, we encourage one another. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Buddy up with someone new or a forever friend. Find your cheerleader.
If you want God to do something new in your life, you too must do something new.
Helen Baratta, FP4H Director of Development