Tag Archives: healthy-living

Spiritual Sprint #3: mellifluous

adjective – (of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hearphoto

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.

What’s your favorite tune to work out to  either spiritually or physically?

Spiritual Sprint #2: goals

noun – the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired resultFemale-Runner2

Each day before I step out the door with my running shoes on, I map the running route in my mind. I determine to not stop running until I reach the end of the predetermined route. In short, I set a goal for distance. Oh, I have goals for pace and overall time set in my mind as well, but in the end it comes down to finishing the route.

Why? Because I know myself.  Let me clue you in on my first mile inner voice.  It goes a little like this…

“Wow, this is hard. Maybe I should only run just one mile today and give my body a rest. What’s the deal with being so tired already?! I mean yesterday, I ran three miles, so I can just run one today.  What’s the deal with these running shorts?! Ugh, why does one leg keep riding up? I cannot run my distance having to adjust these shorts every 30 steps.  Shoot!  I forgot to send that email. Now I really have to run only a mile so I can get back and do that!”

But then the voice of the pre-planning speaks up: “Uh hum! You said you’d run until this you reached the end of the park today. So you aren’t stopping until we get there!  Got it?”

I keep going past that first mile and don’t stop.

One would think that the first mile brain battle would ease up eventually, but so far it hasn’t. The same brain battle occurs spiritually for me too. That’s why I’ve taken to setting short-term spiritual goals as well.  I map routes for the week, so that I can push past the spiritual “first mile.”

My weeks never look the same as far as activities that will occur and responsibilities that need my attention. One week, life starts at 7 AM and ends somewhere around 9 PM each night.  Other weeks are wide-open with no obligations other than an occasional meeting.

Scheduling times for spiritual nourishment are a problem in either kind of week, so I’ve taken to setting goals for each type of week. Goals can range from getting up earlier for quiet times or listening to only praise and worship music for the week, or maybe a week of prayer journaling. The point is that as my life’s weeks change, my goals change, but in either case, the goal setting happens before the week takes over.

Why? Because I know myself well. My inner dialogue loves to sneak attack me and convince me that skipping one element of my predetermined weekly spiritual goals won’t really affect my life much. Unfortunately, I sit and listen to this voice on too many occasions. But just like my running goals, I have learned to fight that “first mile voice” and keep reaching those goals, both physically and spiritually.

The next time your inner manipulator starts talking, trying to convince you that skipping time with God for just one day isn’t so bad. Remind him that you’ve set goals and made a promise to yourself. Then keep them!  Soon that first mile critic won’t bother talking so much!