It’s not often that I knowingly cross paths with people who have run multiple marathons. I’m not a runner myself, or even an occasional jogger, so it was just by chance that I was introduced recently to a man who had run 19 marathons.
I’ve always figured that casual runners respected the endurance of those who run marathons the same way I look up to gifted poets. And I figured that anyone passionate enough to complete multiple marathons would be the kind of person who insisted on keeping in shape, always training for the next big race. But this man wasn’t. In fact, when I met him, he was talking about the need to begin training again and while he talked, he patted his stomach.
It would take a little while, he said, to get going again. Odd, I thought. With all those races and all that experience behind him, he would still have to start at the beginning. He would still need to prepare.
Unfortunately, I think I’m in the same place spiritually. I’ve been doing my best to serve God for many years. In fact, by some people’s standards, I’m even considered experienced because I’ve run some faithful races. I’ve relied on God for some heavy stuff. Like being the first in my family to navigate going to college. Like moving by myself across the country. Like enduring painful loss.
All that praying and scripture reading I did years ago, when I was really training, carried me through those early races. But now I’m in the marathon of marriage and motherhood, of trying to become a mature woman of God – and I feel just like my new friend, the runner. I need a little while to get going again, a little time to prepare and build my endurance.
It’s time for me to stop taking short cuts and commit to doing the work I know I need to do. I know the things that feed my soul.