You know what I liked about cross country the best, besides the running? I loved that we were a family. We were truly a family. Our coach was our dad, team was the family, and our goal was to support and uplift one another as we tested our endurance.
It really taught me many lessons about how to have grace and mercy through thick and thin, as some of the people in my family were lazier, harder to get along with or just plain irritating. But no matter what, I knew that I always had to encourage them and keep pushing myself to become better.
As I was running today, I was really struggling. In those moments when I am having a hard time pushing myself to run without stopping, I remember those times I had a family. People cheering me on, encouraging me. Others running beside me and giving me a goal to stay with them and run through the pain. A coach giving me tips on how to improve my running posture, ways to lesson the pain and how far left I have to continue pushing through to the end goal.
Thinking about how those things always made running easier and I could fight through anything to accomplish my goal-even faster than the time before, I realized something. That family was a lot like my home family, and demonstrated many parallels in my relationship with Jesus. Not only that, but I need to remember to have grace with those around me and to encourage them as well.
I need the Lord in my life to encourage me and give me strength. I need Him to help me along and challenge me, bringing me through both good and hard times. After all, He says…
“Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord,
the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagels,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.”
Another tidbit: like our father on earth, we are supposed to honor our Father in Heaven. “But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him…” -1 John 2:5