I am not a runner.
Oh don’t get me wrong – I love to run. I enjoy the exercise, the time alone to think and listen to music and podcasts. Running refreshes and recharges my body and my brain.
I made a huge mistake though when I confessed in church that I want to run a full marathon this year to celebrate my 30th birthday. People are going to hold me accountable to that. And that’s no good because I am not a runner.
I try to run 2-3 times a week. But a lot of times it’s just once. Sometimes I even go a couple of weeks between runs.
I’m not very fast either – I average about 10 minutes and 30 seconds per mile. I hate running in the morning. I only run in the afternoons or at night.
There’s an incredibly beautiful trail just down the road from my house called The Silver Comet Trail that is a joy to run on. But running on it means I have to drive it to it, which is inconvenient and gets in the way of me doing it sometimes.
Here’s another confession. I only like to run when the conditions are just right. I’m not just talking about the weather either.
I only like to run when I know I can have the right kind of drink waiting on me afterward. Sometimes its a Powerade waiting in the fridge. Sometimes its an iced coffee. And every once in a while when I have reward on my Starbucks card its a free venti frappuccino.
And I only like to run when I have time to take a bath afterward. I’ve had problems with my knee in the past and when I have the time to take a warm bath and soak after running it really helps the soreness. If I know I won’t have time to run and to take a bath, I often won’t even lace up my shoes.
I feel like a real runner runs no matter the conditions. They run early in the morning, rain or shine, time for a bath afterward or not.
Because of this I don’t like calling myself a runner. I don’t think I deserve the title.
I’m just a lazy “runner”.
The trails aren’t the only place I run lazily either.
The book of Hebrews encourages us to keep running the race that is set before us by God. And to be quite honest with you I’m not particular good at this type of running either.
I only like going to church and serving God when the conditions are just right. If I’ve been out too late on a Saturday night I contemplate whether its really worth getting up on Sunday morning.
I’m 7 days behind right now on my One Year Bible plan. I try to catch up by reading two days at a time then the weekend comes and I end up falling back again. Slogging through the first few books of the Old Testament just has not interested me this year.
If someone wants to schedule coffee or dinner together at an inconvenient time then I drag my feet and try to find some way to get out of it.
When I feel that voice in my conscience to start a conversation with someone or to commit some random act of kindness I try to drown it out by making up excuses.
I’m not proud to say this but I only like to serve God when it’s convenient to me. And to tell the truth it’s rarely ever convenient.
I don’t want this to be the case. I don’t want to commit to just being a Christian when it’s convenient. That’s not really a commitment at all. That’s a copout.
At some point if I’m really going to tackle a marathon this year I need to go from being a lazy “runner” to being a true runner. It won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take a serious commitment day by day to change who I am.
The trail of becoming a better follower of God is similar to that of becoming a true runner. There’s no shortcut. You have to just get out and run every opportunity you get – even when the conditions aren’t favorable. Especially when the conditions aren’t favorable.
The good news in both situations is that when I falter I don’t have to start over from the beginning. I just put my shoes back on and get out on the trail, picking up where I left off.
This isn’t an excuse or an admonition for laziness. It’s a reminder that in spite of my excuses and inconsistencies I’m not disqualified from finishing the race if I’m willing to show up.
Because there’s still a lot of good God can do through lazy people like me when they actually do decide to run.
Do you feel like a lazy “runner” in the race God has set before you? Where do you need to take the first step in truly committing to God even when it’s inconvenient? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. And check out these other thoughts from my adventures as a “runner”: