Today I went for a run on the treadmill at the YMCA. Usually I try to keep the incline set at least at level 2.0 and keep the speed somewhere between 7.5 and 8.0 mph and run for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the day and my level of energy. Every now and then I will keep the incline low and pick up the speed and really try to push myself. Sometimes I will decide to run 5 or 6 miles with a certain time that I want to achieve. Tonight I had been running for about 25 minutes and I felt pretty strong. I decided I wanted to see if I could run 5 miles in 35 minutes – without holding on to the arms of the treadmill and gasping for breath. As I huffed and puffed, I did the math and realized that there was no way that I was going to be able to make that goal. It was mathematically possible…but even if the treadmill could go that fast it was going to do it without me.
I was not going to finish where I wanted to, I had not set a sufficient pace in the first part of my run. For a minute my perspective almost changed. I almost became discouraged because this goal was out of my grasp and I had not worked harder sooner. Then I realized how blessed I was even to have the opportunity to work out. There have been times in the past when my back has ached and I have not even been able to walk upright, shuffling around like I was 180 years old, much less push myself to try and run faster. I have friends who have physical limitations and they would love to be able to get up and walk or jog on any incline or at any pace. It is so easy to take things for granted and not be grateful for the things that we have or that we can do.
Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ” in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
David said in Psalm 95:2 “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
The Lord is good and He is worthy to receive our praise and our gratitude no matter what our situation or progress toward personal goals. As we enter in to the week of Thanksgiving consider all of the things that the Lord has blessed you with. Thank the Lord for those things. Now, think about things you may have forgotten or that you may be taking for granted. Have you been discouraged because you are not in the job you wished you were in? At least you have a job. Are you upset that your car needs new tires? At least your car starts. You get the picture. Ask the Lord to help you have the right perspective. Ask Him to help you have an attitude of gratitude. You do not have to be thankful for each situation but you can be thankful in each situation.
Maybe you are not where you want to be right now. Maybe you did not start running your race at the pace that you wish you would have. Maybe you wish you were further down the road now. Don’t be discouraged. Wherever you are in this race called life, you can have Christ with you. Those who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can always cling to the promise that He will never leave them nor forsake them. They can cling to the promise that He will give them strength and help them finish the course. That is reason enough to be thankful. Don’t worry about the race behind you, don’t worry about where you are now; run well, run strong from this day forward in Christ.
Until next time, stay strong in the faith.