To the end.

Not going to lie.  I’m beat.  Beginning Thanksgiving Day (November 24), I joined Runner’s World’s first-ever “Run Streak“.  The Goal?  Simple…run at least 1 mile per day, every day, until December 31 (that’s 38 days straight).  My previous streak was Summer 2009, I think I got 14 or 15 days straight in.  But…

I also had another goal for 2011…to run 950 miles.  By October, I was on track, I just had to put in 75 miles/month for the remainder of 2011 and I’d be there…basically 20 miles/week for the rest of the year.  I could do that.  Then…the Streak.

I had to take a step back and evaluate…how would running each and every day affect my goal of 950?  I could simply run a mile per day and achieve one goal, but then the 950 becomes a pipe dream, not to mention going into January unprepared and down in miles.

  • Sunday- minimum of 2 miles
  • Monday- minimum of 4 miles
  • Tuesday- minimum of 2 miles
  • Wednesday- minimum of 4 miles
  • Thursday- minimum of 2 miles
  • Friday- minimum of 4 miles
  • Saturday- minimum of 5 miles

That’s a 23 mile week, at minimum.  Today was day 19 and I’m absolutely beat.  This past Saturday we went to Lincoln to see our daughter, which meant a 5:30am run time. We got home around 9:15 that night, to bed, up on Sunday at 5:30am for the Sunday 2+.  Most of the day at church, home around 9:30pm, sleep by 10:45, up at 6 today.  LIFE Group tonight at our house until 8:30, bed by 10.   Tomorrow, I’m going back to Lincoln to get Katie for break…another 5:30am run.  Wednesday is our middle school youth group day, up early for the run, home late.  Thursday is a maybe on sleeping in, but it’s also the final day of class before Christmas break.  Friday is our men’s breakfast- starts at 7am, so that’s an “up at 5am” day for 4+.  On Saturday, I have a meeting at church, so yet another early run because it’s the weekly “long run”.  Repeat.  For 19 more days.

“You don’t have to do this”

It would be easy to settle.  To stop.  To quit.  I’m at 919 miles…I could run 31 miles over the next 19 days in my sleep.  And sadly, that’s what many Christians do.  They see that the goal is theirs, and they just give up.  They settle for heaven…for “good enough”.  But here’s the thing, in John 10:10, Jesus tells his followers that he has come to give life, and not just living, but life to the fullest.  The import for us here is that life is meant to be lived, to be pursued, to be grasped and attained.  In Matthew 24:44, Jesus told those listening that they “were to be ready all the time.”  What does “all the time” mean?

Now.

Now.

Now.

Sunday morning while in worship.

Tuesday at 3:43 am.

Wednesday.

Thursday.

Friday.

Repeat.  For the rest of your life.

In 1 Timothy 6, Paul tells Timothy to run for his life from wealth and in pursuit of the righteous life.  He says basically the same thing in 2 Timothy 2:22.  Run.  Pursue.  Chase.  Don’t quit.

Some will.  Jesus mentions this in Matthew 24.  People will be deceived.  Many will be arrested, persecuted, even killed.  Others, seeing this, will turn away.  They will grow weary.  They will look ahead and see that there are not just 19 days left in a streak, but there are 19 weeks.  Or 19 months.  Or 19 years.  And, looking ahead, they will grow weary.  Tired.  As the first sign of pain, they will falter.  And therein lies the rub.  Jesus says that “the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Perhaps it would be easy if we knew when He was returning.  After all, my running streak ends on December 31.  I “only” have 19 days left.  In stark contrast…we live like we have all the time in the world until He comes back.  “eat, drink and be merry…” we will repent tomorrow.   Or the next day.  But, that’s not life, not life to the fullest anyway.

“A faithful, sensible servant is the one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them.  If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job (of caring for the others), there will be a reward…”

“But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while…” and mistreats those that he is to be caring for?  Focuses on himself? He’ll be “assigned a place with the hypocrites…”

Truth is…I can skip a day, and then, the run streak ends.  I cannot simply add January 1 and call it 38 days straight.

“The one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Run.  Pursue.  Chase.  Don’t quit.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “To the end.

  1. “Oh Lord, I will run in your ways when you enlarge my heart…” – somewhere in my Bible. You hit it dead on, yet there’s tension within us. We don’t know that resting in Christ is running and vice versa. I’ve had to learn this the hard way – but I’ve come around to seeing God’s grace in his discipline and in daily disciplines. Thanks for your thoughts.

    I’m writing with Student Venture and am looking around for gospel-centered blogs, and I’m encouraged by yours. Keep writing!

    Oh and here’s my real blog: http://www.philip-bloggled.blogspot.com. I can’t figure out how to close my Word Press blog.
    Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Recap, part 1 (what running taught me about life in 2011) | The Cost and Joy

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