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Runners Aren’t Born, They’re Made

I’ve been running lately.  Not running like Jonah did (or at least I don’t think so).  I’ve been running about three miles at a time.  For many of you this may be no big deal and may seem completely unworthy of even mentioning in a blog post.  But for someone who is not a runner, has never been on a sports team, and faked like she was sick during PE class more times than she can count, this is worthy of a little celebration.
There have been a couple of different seasons in recent years (like post-marriage, pre-baby #1…and then again after recovering from baby #1 but only shortly before baby #2) that I’ve trained and run a few 5k races.  I feel a bit funny saying this (particularly on the web), but each time that I’ve trained, running has proven a very spiritual experience.
I have honestly surprised myself.  Better stated, God has met me in surprising ways. Completing 3.1 miles in my particularly hilly neighborhood has been a physical embodiment of Ephesians 3:20 – “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”  God is using running as a picture in the natural of limits I’ve placed on myself in the spiritual.  How easily spiritual amnesia overtakes me and I forget that God’s gracious purposes for me are not worked out according to my own striving or ability.  It’s HIS power (which Paul tells us in Eph. 1:19-20 is the very working of his great might that he worked in Christ at the resurrection) that enables my kingdom service, fruitful character, holy living, etc.
I don’t want to be a woman who misses out on the best of the faith adventure God has for me because of my self-imposed limitations.  It makes me sound like such a curmudgeon to admit this, but until recently I would have said, “I’m not a runner and I’m not a patient mother and I’m not good at sharing my faith.”  But in the breakthroughs I’m experiencing with running, I sense God’s invitation to let go of my cynical statements couched in fear and embrace with faith God’s power at work within me.  HE is able to do far more in and through me than I could ever dream … and I don’t want to miss out on one second of it.
It’s unlikely that you’ll see me driving around town with a 26.2 bumper sticker, but I sure am a little more hopeful and a little more free than I was yesterday.
Ashlee Johnson

Ashlee is the wife of a pastor, mom of two busy little ones, and a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Seminary. She is passionate about communicating the truths of Scripture to women and magnifying Jesus as the All-Satisfying Treasure and Almighty Redeemer. She has lived in North Carolina for most of her life and loves making the most of the sidewalks and parks in her 1940s neighborhood. Ashlee enjoys healthy eating and exercising, but finds it nearly impossible to resist homemade cookies!

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