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The Art of Long-Distance Running

Chariots of Fire

I was on my high-school track team. I ran anything that had the words sprint or dash in them. I was very fast for short distances. But I lacked the endurance necessary for long distances. As soon as I was winded or felt leg cramps, I would give up.

Imagine my surprise to realize that now, in my 50s, I have gradually become better at SYMBOLICALLY running the longer distances. Don't get me wrong...I still resist often. Perseverance training sucks! The only way to get better at it is to keep "running" a little longer each time. It is not a quick process.

But I am noticing that now, when I encounter a long hard "run", I have moments where I begin to feel the wind rush past and the sun on my face and a kind of exhilaration fills me. And right in the midst of pain, I feel a sudden gust of His presence lifting my spirits and a freedom as if I was flying!

Last night, I had a picture of the opening scene of the old movie Chariots of Fire. I remember when the main character said, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure."

Over time He has not only been training me for the long game, but He has also changed my perspective of the actual run. Now I find myself turning less to breathless chants of "just a few more steps" and more to the anticipation of "here comes the wind" lift my face, feel His good pleasure and allow myself to get lost in the exhilaration of flying as He carries me in the high places!

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