After running two marathons, I know the high amount of energy, time, sacrifice, and effort it takes to get the starting line. Training time for a marathon is commonly at a minimum of four months (if not way longer). Four months of running almost daily. Four months of waking up earlier than normal. Four months of taking ibuprofen just to walk the next day.
Seasons tend to change during a four month stretch. You may start training when the sun is out by 6:00am and the temperature gets well into the 90s. However, during the last few weeks of your training, the sun could be still hiding at 6:00am and the temperature could be in the 40s.
I have always enjoyed running when it is on the warmer side. Running in the shade has always been very comfortable for me. There is something soothing about running through shade on a hot day that is natural and comfortable. I started thinking about why that is true.
Is that true with my relationship with God too? Do I find great comfort in being in the darkness of the shade on my spiritual journey? Am I naturally drawn to the darkness of the shade spiritually? Do I seek the shade out? Do I eagerly anticipate those times in the shade?
Some time ago I had a conversation with a fellow runner and a fellow follower of Christ. She told me something interesting that got me thinking and has definitely stuck with me. On long runs, she will run harder through the shade so that she never is in the darkness too long. She did not want to comfortable in the shade. No matter the temperature outside, she enjoyed basking in the light of the sun. Now that preaches.
Father, help us always enjoy and crave basking in the light of your Son. Help us to never get comfortable with darkness. We want to be free from the shade and darkness of sin, shame, and guilt.
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:5-7 (NIV)