What is more challenging – running 26.2 miles in under 3 hours or 100 miles in less than 24?
The reality is that it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Some people can’t fathom running 26.2 miles, never mind 100. For others pounding the pavement can never bring the same enjoyment as running in the mountains through two sunrises.
I always try to avoid comparing races of different lengths because I find different rewards and benefits from each distance. The one consistent theme for me is that the more races I do, the more I find that I am continually looking for new challenges.
It may mean running a faster marathon time as I hope to do at Boston in April, choosing a more difficult race as I did for my first 100 miler when I ran Chimera, or to see how I can stack up against the best in the world when I run Western States 100 this June. I believe it is when I challenge myself that I truly grow by becoming stronger and learning more from these experiences.
I would encourage you to do the same as you go through 2014!
Look at our professional lives: many of us are expected to take on new responsibilities as we learn or master a specific role. It may mean doing a more complex job or managing more people. Regardless of what the change involves, it generally is more challenging and hopefully more rewarding.
Why not set similar expectations in our spiritual lives?
Over the last year, I studied the book of Romans and I am currently getting close to finishing Daniel with my bible study group. It has been the most powerful 12 months from a spiritual perspective. While I feel as though I have grown in my relationship with Jesus, I struggle with how to put what I am learning into practice. I feel as though calling myself a Christian and attending church on Sunday isn’t enough. I have an obligation to live in a way that glorifies Him all week and all the time. Even more challenging is that unlike a race with a finish line or a job with a performance review, I may not know the final result until my work here in this life is finished.
Now it’s your turn!
Whether it is physical or spiritual, I pray you challenge yourself this year and embrace the fact that a “CHALLENGE” isn’t meant to be easy but hopefully is one that improves who you are and what you do!