I am a runner, a husband, a father, a Chief Technology Officer, a clarinet player, and many other things, but more than that I am a friend and follower of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, we find the Way to God and a way to live that makes sense. I want to share some wisdom from it in this series. But, since I am a runner, and most of you reading this are runners, I would like us to look at passages that talk about running!
But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:11-12 MSG
There are three types of running discussed here. The first is running away from something. The second is running after something (pursue). The third is running in something.
Running away from something that will do you harm is a powerful motivator. As a runner, I have run away from stray dogs or gotten myself out of the way of oncoming traffic. I even had to dodge some excited buffaloes once (the Indian kind, not the African kind. If it was the latter I may not have lived to tell the tale) You have to read the passage before this to know what the author (Paul) is telling his young friend Timothy. He is talking about the pursuit of money and riches.
6-8 A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.
9-10 But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.
If you go down that path of lust after money, you may get seriously injured. You may lose everything that is valuable and all connection with God. So run away!
An even more powerful motivator is the positive returns of pursuing and catching something good. We run for the medal or the trophy or the prize money. Or just to complete it! So many are trying to live a righteous life, but most, no all are failing. We pursue a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, and courtesy. But can we ever catch that kind of life? I believe we need some help. Jesus ran a faultless race and achieved the highest prize for Himself and for all who believe in Him. He is the One who represented His Kingdom and won the honors by rising from the dead. Running/living with Jesus as our friend makes a LOT of sense.
And as we are running daily, we do it hard and fast “in the faith.” All that Jesus did for us has to be seized in faith. We embrace this life. It is eternal; going on even beyond death. The prize is certain if we run with our Friend. We experience a runner’s high which is a purposeful, wondrous, love-filled life.
They say that life is like a marathon and I agree. Thank God that there is an end to a marathon! And so, life on earth also ends, but are we running away from that which will enslave us (lust after money for one…) and pursuing the prize which Christ has for us? Or will our result be a DNF? If you run with faith in Jesus, the prize is certain.
P.S. Planning to do 75k tomorrow running to Tikar Taal and back.
Let’s hope for the same weather as the last time I ran up there…