never much of an athlete growing up. Notoriously clumsy, I
was ostracized by our school volleyball and basketball teams.
Nevertheless, there was one sport in which I excelled - running.
Year after year I won top prizes at school track meets.
of successful runners are similar to those that empower us
to achieve our life goals. Reaching your purpose is like running a marathon. The race is different for each of us, for it represents our unique destiny.
But though we run different races, the same attributes are required for winning. The Bible says, "Let us lay aside every weight, and
the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with
endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb.12: 1-2).
evaluate my progress in light of this scripture. Am I running
free of unnecessary weights? Am I running with endurance?
Am I remaining focused on my overall purpose?
Free of Weights
knows that she must minimize resistance in what she wears.
Extra ounds, whether in body weight or clothes, impede speed and performance.
Reach your dreams also requires running "light." As the scripture above says, "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which easily ensnares us."
Sin is easy enough to recognize, and we know what to do with it -- repent. Weights, on the other hand, can be deceiving, for they are often obscured by well-intentioned motives. For example, excessive busyness is a common weight that is often rooted in the inability to say no or set boundaries.
Emotional baggage, such as regret and self-reproach for past failures
and disappointments, will also weight you down.
Other common encumbrances include excessive amounts of time spent on activities such as hobbies, socializing, watching television, or shopping. All these are healthy in moderation, but overindulgence and imbalance will keep you from reaching your goals.
list of all the things you need to lay aside, and prayerfully
lift each area to God. If you have sinned, ask for God's forgiveness.
If are carrying negative emotional baggage, let it go. If you are wasting time, make a quality decision to make changes and hold yourself accountable.
the feeling of having completed a long distance run. But this
feeling comes only after a series of events that severely
test my endurance. The first few minutes are easy. After fifteen
to twenty minutes, I hit what runners call "the wall."
My muscles ache. I'm burning up. I feel sluggish and fatigued.
I can't remember why I wanted to run. I'm convinced I can
go no further.
push myself to keep going. After a few more minutes of pain,
exhaustion and the longing to quit, I experience a sudden
burst of euphoric energy. My mind is alert and focused. Running
now feels effortless, and I easily complete the course.
is perhaps no greater factor in long-term success than endurance.
Anyone can be enthusiastic and confident when bursting through
the starting gate. But how do we react when we encounter obstacles
Be tenaciously determined to finish the course. Push yourself to keep going, despite the obstacles. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Refuse to give in to feelings of fatigue and discouragement.
I like the way best-selling author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. describes perseverence in The Complete Life's Little Instruction Book: "In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins --- not through strength but by perseverence."
running a successful race means staying focused. Nothing will
throw a runner off stride or slow her down more than turning
to look at the runner coming behind her or glancing at the
crowds in the stands to see how they are reacting to her performance.
In the race of purpose, distractions will throw you off stride and sometimes steer you in a direction that leads you farther from, rather than closer to, your dream. Comparing yourself with otheres or seeking their accolades will also hinder you from running with effectiveness.
with focus means not sweating
the small stuff. It means keeping our eyes on the big picture,
and not becoming discouraged by setbacks.
all, running to win means remaining focused on the reason
we run - to honor Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Rushfeldt is an author, speaker, and online
magazine publisher who has been writing for 25
years. Her passion is to inspire and equip women
to reach their dreams. Her latest book, Making
Your Dreams Your Destiny - a woman's guide to
awakening your passions and fulfilling your purpose,
is now available in quality bookstores. You may
also order online with your credit card or by
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