Challenge Yourself

As October was coming to a conclusion, my boot camp friends began discussing what we could do next to strengthen ourselves. A few of them had just completed a ½ Marathon, some of them for the very first time. We came across a 100 mile challenge for the month of November. The purpose was to run 100 miles in the month of November. I guess a lot of long distance runners that live here in the north see November-January as a bit of a loll. There is not a lot of long distance runs in these month due to the chilly weather. And since there are not a lot of long distance runs, it can be easy to shut down for the winter. Being that this is my 1st year I consider myself a runner, I was not really aware of this issue. Nonetheless, the challenge was issued. Log 100 miles running/walking in the month of November. 100 is a daunting number. Broken down, that makes 3 1/3 miles every day. That is just a hair over doing a 5k every single day. That does sound so bad. Running three miles is rather easy. But, finding time to run that much every day is not always easy. Especially, if we don’t want to give up all the other things you do to keep in shape (Boot camp, spin, boxing, etc) Add to this that I am a father of 4, I have work responsibilities and other church functions, a Thanksgiving to plan and a slew of other things going on finding time and energy can be complicated. Furthermore, one thing I hadn’t considered is that even when I was training for my ½ marathon I technically never ran 100 miles in 30 days. Just as I hit that point, I ended up getting injured. The most I have logged in a month is 80. So, what is 20 more right? It is exhausting. I have just over 38 miles. (Not too bad considering that we are about a 1/3 of the way through the month).

Sure, I could quit. I could say it is too hard. But, what message am I sending my children? I taught them by my poor example for years that challenges weren’t worth doing. I sat around and told them to try, but never tried anything. And now, am I supposed to tell them only the easy stuff is worth the effort? I think not. If that were the case, I wouldn’t ever be able to encourage them to be Christians. Sure, Jesus said his burden was light. But, the pathway to heaven is not always an easy one. We don’t always have easy choices to make. We don’t always find the road cleared out. Often times it means that we must take up our cross and follow him.

There is a real challenge. Take you the cross, not a pretty necklace, but a symbol of death and suffering, and follow Jesus. Are you willing to be mocked for Christ? Are you willing to be looked at with derision for Christ? Are you willing to be hated for Christ? Challenge yourself. Take up your cross and see where it leads.  As I log my 100 miles this month I plan on putting alot of time meditating upon the challenge Jesus gave to me.   The sad reality is I quit carrying more often then I like to admit.  But, each day is a new day.  No longer will I cast it aside because it is too hard.  If I can ran 100 miles, I can carry that cross with me every step!

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