This is, after all, how God operates. Before He allowed Joseph to become second in command of the only world power at that time, He humbled him by letting him be sold into slavery and then had him thrown into prison for a few years. Before He allowed Moses to have the incredible task of leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt, He humbled him by sending him to the wilderness for 40 years to tend sheep.
Before God uses anyone, He humbles them first. God is about the business of glorifying Himself and the only persons who are capable of joining Him in that task are those who are no longer seeing the need to compete for that glory.
Well, how quickly we forget! Let me be transparent for a moment…
I have two races coming up next month. I’ve registered for a 5K race on April 6th and then a half-marathon on April 20th. Some intense training and high miles have been a weekly staple as I’ve prepared for them. And while the half-marathon is going to be a high point for me simply because I’ve never run a race that long, the 5K is special because it is the second time I’ll run that particular race. I ran it a year ago and it was the first race I ever participated in. It also happens to be the fastest race I’ve ever run. I ran the 3.1 miles in 24 minutes and 21 seconds. I’ve never beat that time since.
I posted last Saturday on my dailymile running blog this message: “This is the second time I will run this race. It is also the first 5K race I ever ran as a new runner last year. My finish time on this course last year was 24:21. I’ve never been able to beat that 5K PR. I WILL beat that time on April 6th!“
I was feeling a little self-confident. I should have remember Proverbs 16:18 where it says: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
I went out the very next day for a Sunday afternoon long run. I was supposed to run 10 miles but crashed and burned after 8.56 miles. Then, on Monday, I was supposed to do a 7 mile run but only got in 3.5 miles because my Achilles Tendons on both of my legs were in serious pain.
Here it is Thursday and I haven’t run since Monday. My Achilles Tendons are getting better but are still a little painful.
I’ve had time to assess why it happened:
- Physically – It happened because I have not been doing enough stretching (specifically dynamic stretching) before each run. I need to begin doing some static stretching after each run as well.
- Spiritually – It happened because I was getting confident in myself rather than confident in what Christ could do through me. I believed that I had the power within myself to reach the goal. However, I failed to remember that back at the age of 8, I submitted my life to the authority of Christ. He’s the one that calls the shots and gets the glory now … not me.
I’ve learned both lessons and may try to run a little tonight or tomorrow. I’ll realize that whatever I can do or accomplish only happens as the Lord graciously provides me with the ability and opportunity. I’ll also focus on gratitude to the Lord when I experience success knowing that He is the one who did it through me. In doing this, I will be glorifying the Lord, even while I run!
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do (this includes running!), do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31