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May
17

Running the Race

By

Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerRunning the Race by Pam BassI was out riding my bike this morning.  The trail was particularly busy for a Saturday.  After going a little ways I saw a water station.  That’s when I noticed a bunch of runners with numbers on them.  Ah, a race is going on.  Then I saw the yellow mile markers (whoa, I was already on mile 6, not really!).  Then the seven mile marker came up.  And I remembered my running days: 2 blocks, 3 blocks, ½ mile, 1 mile, 5k, 6k, 10k, and finally made it to my goal of 10 miles before I turned 40 years old.  As I looked at their sweaty, wet, tired-looking faces, I had a number of thoughts run through my mind: What race are they in? Are they running for a special cause? What could I say, if anything, to encourage them?  So, I was at my turning-around spot (of 5 miles, in case you’re wondering) and I stopped and asked one of the monitors some questions.

She informed me that it was the 10-mile Peak to Peak race. She was there to make sure “the kids didn’t change the direction of the signs.”  So, as I rode on I decided that it would probably be nice and kind to give a thumbs up signal to the runners. So I did. Then I added a few words like: “good job!” “keep going!” “almost there!” “way to go!” I tried to smile too, though sometimes I don’t think I did. Some ignored me. Someone said thanks. Most seemed to be listening to their iPods. I thought, “they probably wonder who this crazy lady in a green shirt is and why is she doing this?” I did it for a couple of reasons:

  1. I know some encouragement is nice to have when running.
  2. It seemed like the right thing and only thing I could do.
  3. It made me feel good.

As a runner, or any kind of athlete, I know your mental game has to be on in order to do well in the race or event.  Your thoughts play a HUGE part in sports, as well as in life. Sometimes, you’ll think  “Why am I pounding the pavement again?” “Is it really worth it to finish_______?”  “Who cares what my time is?” “I’m not sure I can go on” etc.

And so, you may already know where I am going with this blog today. Paul’s words of encouragement in 1 Cor. 9:24-25

“Remember that in a race everyone run, but only one gets the prize. You must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” (ESV)

Hebrews 12: 1b-2a “…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

So, what’s the goal in marriage? A lot of people would say “happiness”, but not me. Happiness is an elusive butterfly that one will only catch when you’re not trying to catch it.  For the Christian, I believe marriage gives us one of the best places and opportunities to become more like Jesus. I believe the goal is to become holy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think each spouse can bring some happiness to the other. But I wouldn’t focus on happiness as a goal. If you have been married for awhile, you know there’re plenty of times to be kind when you don’t feel it. To do something for your spouse when you’d rather not.

When you’re really right, but it doesn’t matter in the light of eternity. Trials in marriage are opportunities to be Jesus to your husband. So, ladies, what’s your goal in your marriage? Is it getting it your way? Is it happiness or holiness?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pam Bass is a wife, mom, and licensed Christian counselor, who has helped hundreds of people over the last 23 years. She desires wives especially to be cognizant of the way the American culture can influence our stated Christian values. Through her blog, she hopes to encourage women (in particular) to know and trust what God tells us in His word. Find out more at www.pambass.com

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