Gratitude Day 648

1 Corinthians 9:24 – Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious.

John Bingham once said, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

Amen, my friend. Amen.

A few weeks ago, my friend Barb and I had a conversation. Maybe we should run a 5K this summer.


Yes. A 5K.

I had casually started running a little bit this spring. After buying a new pair of running shoes, I felt motivated to lace them up and bumble down the road. Just a couple days a week. Short distances, measured by time and not distance. I was not in running shape … and I knew it.

A 5K. Hmmm.

Another friend, Pam, causally asked if I would want to go for a walk one day. I said, “How about a run? Want to do a 5K?”

Before we got all sweaty running …

And so, us three ladies signed up for a 5K, along with Pam’s son, Brady.

Was I really ready to run a 5K? No.

But sometimes, it’s OK to stretch ourselves. Move the goalpost out a little bit further than you think you can. Challenge yourself to try something that you know will be a bit difficult.

Last night, our little group of four ran a 5K in Baraboo, WI. Sponsored by the Baraboo Lions Club, it was a nice little race. Since it has been over 10 years since I’ve ran in any type of race, this was a great first one. Finding a course nearby that would not have a ton of runners was perfect. Since I basically run on flat roads, the hills were more daunting than my usual route. But spurred on by having friends join in the fun (?), made it more tolerable.

Just to be clear – I am NOT a gazelle gliding down the road. I am a draft horse plodding down the pavement. There is nothing graceful about my running abilities. Throughout the run, I kept reminding myself that my goal was simply to run the entire 3.1 miles. Time didn’t matter. Lacing up my shoes and plodding down the road had been the courageous step.

Yes, I was the grandma that brought up the rear of our little running group. Honestly, I’m OK with this. What I discovered about myself is that it is OK to challenge ourselves, try things that maybe one step beyond what we can comfortably do and enjoy the moment.

While I was out of breath and dying as I crossed the finish line, I tried to have a smile on my face. My friends showed up. We ran a race. None of us came home with a victor’s prize and that is OK. Why? Victory already happened when we started the race and committed to finishing it.

Post run/race … and still smiling!

For some, crossing the finish line first defines their victory. As a mid-50’s woman who last ran a competitive race when there was a different number at the beginning of her age, victory happened when I had the courage to run a few times a week and commit to putting the race number on my clothing.

Being a Christian is not all that different. Being a Christian means showing up for God on a regular basis. It’s committing to keep showing up when uncomfortable hills are right in front of us. It’s pacing our lives while coasting down the hills, anticipating that another hill will show up. It’s pushing all the way to the finish line of life, making sure we’ve stayed on the God Team.

The best part of the run? Hanging out with our spouses afterwards. Having another friend, Rhonda, join us after the run. Enjoying dinner outside in a beautiful setting. Sharing in something that almost felt normal again. Appreciating that I can even run at my age, even if it’s not fast and certainly not very graceful.

Waiting for Barb to arrive

What is something that you’ve been contemplating doing … but lacked the courage to begin? Lace up your shoes. Ease into doing something that will be a bit of a stretch. Know that any time you have the courage to try something different, you’ve already finished the race. And then, translate this into your spiritual journey. Show up. Lace up. Be excited that you can choose to have faith as a part of your life. And love that you can.

For the joy of sharing this running experience with friends, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – So often, we focus on the end of something and fail to see how starting something is just as important. Victory in You doesn’t just happen when we receive our eternal reward. It  can become a part of our daily lives when we lace up our relationship with You every day. Thanks for showing up, even when we don’t. And for making the victory even possible. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Comments are closed