Purist runners don’t need a kickin’ playlist blaring from their headphones to pound out a good race. But for me, I gotta have my tunes.
Oh sure, many will tell me I’m missing out on the wonderful sounds of nature as I cruise the trail. Or my mind can’t properly clear itself of the day’s worries if guitar riffs, bass thumps, and catchy melodies occupy my brain. I disagree.
The music drowns out the world for me and allows my brain to actually focus. On the days when I’ve run without my tunes, the pounding of my tennis shoes beats my brain with the monotony of the activity. My shallow breaths mock and remind me that my heart isn’t as healthy as it needs to be. In fact, they both discourage me into thinking that I can’t actually go the distance – literally!
Therefore, I run with soundtracks. I let the music drown out the pounding of feet and rapid breathing. The beat of the music sets my pace and helps me run the race.
So it is with my spiritual race as well. However, in this case the soundtrack isn’t all lyrics and guitar melodies; it’s the Word of God. I learned long ago that His Word can be an accompaniment to any difficult race I’ve run in my life. There’s a verse or passage that drowns out the worry and the fear and helps me keep running with purpose. There’s a prayer that steadies my heartbeat with His, instead of letting it run wild and irregular.
When the race’s route is unknown, we can trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding, and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:4,5).
When we feel we can’t finish the distance He set for us, we must remember in Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13) and that the God who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).
When an injury threatens to keep us from running at all, we can know that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28) and God has plans for us, plans that bring us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
As our feet pound the pavement of life and our heart rates try to be controlled by life’s problems, we should let the Word overpower the distracting sounds of the world and keep running until we reach the finish line.