Another Random Thought on Running

Do you ever feel like you’re not making any progress in life? That life should be easier by now, but it’s not?

I was wondering about this yesterday when I was out running. I’ve been running for a month and a half, which I recognize is a shorter amount of time than a Kardashian marriage, but I kinda thought it would be easier by now. But it’s not.

My legs still scream obscenities at me. My lungs threaten to make like a tree and get out of here. I still haven’t stumbled on that mythical creature named “Runner’s Bliss.”

What I did realize however was even though running is not yet easier, choosing to run is easier.

It’s not as hard to convince myself to run. I even look forward to it a little. (I must be a sucker for punishment.)

Most likely, my running reality is it will always hurt to run. In fact, I’m assuming that’s how it’s going to be. But seeing the benefits of running, improving, and even enjoying it despite the pain are all making it easier and easier to choose to run.

This mirrors life. I had this idea in my head that as I got older and closer to God, life would start being easier. That loving people who are hard to love, being less selfish, being more disciplined, and saying no to temptation would become easier.

What I’ve realized is living God’s way is not easier, but choosing to live God’s way has become easier.

There is a misconception today that if we can just get to this place, or grasp this concept, or read this book, or discover this secret key, then life will finally be easy. This is not an idea that finds its root in Scripture, but rather in the American dream.

A few years ago I had the privilege of hearing John Piper speak at a conference. He shared how as a seventy-year-old man he still failed countless times each day at keeping God’s two greatest commandments. Isn’t that amazing? I mean, John Piper is the modern day equivalent of Moses!

Be encouraged. Life is hard, and living God’s way will always be hard. Even if you’re John Piper. But choosing to live God’s way today will make it easier to choose God’s way tomorrow.

  • Linda Bordeaux

    Amen, Tim! But having God on my mind much, much more than before is my personal key to being able to choose to be dependent on Him and His way. Your blog is one way God reminds me of His love and presence.

    • Tim

      That’s great, Mom. And encouraging to hear.

  • Louis

    I love how we can admit our failures as Christians because our boasting is solely in Christ! :) Good reminder.

    • Tim

      You sound like the Apostle Paul, Louis. :)

      • Louis

        What a high compliment! One of the two Biblical greats (other than Christ of course) whom I admire immensely. :)

  • Jon

    Tim, have you ever considered that your legs just don’t know Jesus? Think about it; remember what Paul tells us about “the body.”

    I’m praying for you. And your legs.

    • Tim

      I appreciate the prayers. Just don’t ask to lay hands on my legs; that’s crossing the line.

      • Jon

        What if my hands are Unitarian?

        • Tim

          Really? How exactly does that make it better?

          Out of curiosity, are they Unitarian?

  • Stephen Haggerty

    Well said.
    My lungs make these same threats when I run (especially in the cold!).
    And what happened to encouraging us to not resolve to run this year? :)

    • Tim

      Shoot! I plumb forgot. :)

  • Ben

    I like the way you talk. (If you’ve never seen “Slingblade” then you have no idea how to read what I just wrote….

    • Tim

      Seen it, but I can’t quite hear it. Southern drawl, I believe? Almost Forrest Gumpy?

  • Ryan A. Smith

    I’m right there with you, running doesn’t get easier, but getting my butt out there to do it somehow has become easier to do. Maybe that’s the “bliss” part of the journey?