I have been traveling so much lately that it was only yesterday that I flipped my Runners Word calendar to March and read the monthly quote: “Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble.” I thought it was great and was ready to add it to my “list” of motivational quotes.
However I stopped after a moment of reflection and the red flag quickly went up to remind myself that it’s not about “me” or believing in myself. There is nothing wrong with feeling good about what we have accomplished. The problem is when it turns into pride.
I am not a theologian and still feel like an amateur at best in talking about this. I realize that while the first half of the quote from the calendar was self-centered, one could argue that the second half is beneficial as an athlete and Christian. Unfortunately the reality is that most who would read it might be quickly lose sight of what is important.
For someone who never did any physical activity my whole life, I was quick to embrace the title of “Runner” just as others define themselves as a “Triathlete” or “Ironman”. However, is that who we are or what we do? If that is how we define ourselves, what happens if those gifts are taken away? When our focus is solely on ourselves and what we are accomplishing, we are missing so much more!
Another favorite CS Lewis Quote of mine is:
“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
It reminds me that if we truly “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’”, we will feel better, we will have greater confidence, and we can achieve all things through Him who strengthens us.
Fortunately for me running, rather than racing helps me to strengthen my faith. It is what helps me to focus, listen to my body, and most importantly, it helps me listen to my soul! Races on the other hand is my motivation to train harder, to set goals, and to get out of bed in the dark and cold of winter when many others are still snuggled in their warm beds.
Regardless of what you do for exercise, it’s never too late to incorporate a prayer at the start, during, and or after.
What is most important is that we live in a manner at work, during training, or after the race that best glorifies God in all we do.