Two years ago when I ran cross country, I was officially the slowest person on the team and my record proved it. I had only started running 6 months before and I wasn’t in shape, but it was more than that. I didn’t have the right mentality and that hurt my races for years. From 7th grade through my freshman year, I made excuses. I hadn’t had a good breakfast, wasn’t hydrated, had cramps, I didn’t warm up enough or I warmed up too much and was already exhausted. Something, anything to get my conscience to allow me to slow down and not give it my best in the race.
Recently I realized, something was wrong and it wasn’t with my body. I had let my feelings control me instead of listening to God’s voice (and my coach’s). God had given me the ability to run, but I didn’t use it for Him. I used it for myself, to tell people “Yeah, I’m a runner.” But did I really use that gift? No.
There’s a quote I really like by Steve Prefontaine, an Olympian runner. He said, “To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” I have found that so true not only in runninng, but in life. God put you here for a reason. Now, whether or not you know that reason yet, it’s your responsibility and your gift back to God to use everything you have for Him.
This morning, I ran in my first cross country meet of my 10th grade season. I’ve been training for this race all summer. The day finally came. My teammates and I were pumped up about the race. I tried to stay calm and relaxed but nevertheless, nervousness crept up in my stomach and I started to worry. I began to make excuses all over again.
Now let me tell you something real quick. Excuses build a rock wall in your mind that will stand between you and whatever it is that you’re supposed to accomplish. Not only that, but most excuses are lies that you tell yourself, to get out of doing something hard.
So, in my mind I started to find excuses. My IT band has been bothering me all week. This is only the first meet, I’m not expected to do extremely well. It’s hot and dusty on the course… But NO! I couldn’t go there. God had promised me that He was with me, that He would give me strength. I prayed for peace and to feel His presence. No sooner had I said “Amen”, than the gun went off and right then and there I made a promise to God. I would do it for Him and I would give Him my best.
Now I’m not going to talk about the race results or anything. That’s not important at all. What I do want to say is that no matter what it is that you’re going through, a rough family situation, a loss (big or small), a spiritual battle, a broken heart. Whatever it is, seek God’s will, make the decision to follow it, and leave the results up to Him. There’s really no telling what amazing things can come from a simple act of faith and trust.
I hope my testimony was a blessing to you!
Feel free to tell me about any battles you’ve faced and how you overcame them in the comment section!
Also, check out the song below by Josh Wilson called “Pushing Back The Dark”.