By Jolly Mokorosi
Have you ever started a season feeling like one of those runners carried over the finish line in the dying moments of a road race? Little left in the way of dignity and long on gratitude, with the acute awareness that only by the grace of others there has been success.
You don’t have to be familiar with long distance running or endurance sport to grasp some understanding of the importance of sufficient rest, training, adequate nourishment prior to a race and a clear head. A particular race in my running history stands out as one where this criteria was not entirely met. Fortunately it was not anywhere near an ultra marathon. Still the more accurate description might be that I crawled rather than ran over the finish line.
This all happened because instead of getting the standard 8 hours of sleep I needed, I was up all night the night before the race. I slept for about 2 hours and had not eaten correctly most of the day before. I really should have apologised to my running mates and waited for them at the finish line with cold water, some or other manner of sugary carbohydrate reward and a big encouraging smile. Instead I decided to save face and hit the road running. Needless to say misery was my company at every turn, round the corner, up every hill and all the way to the finish line. I hardly talked to anyone and don’t remember much of the scenery or the ‘feel’ of the race. Since these are some of the very reasons I run, this was not a good sign. What I do remember is sore, very tired muscles, tongue-stuck-to-the-roof-of-my-mouth style dehydration and wondering at what point had I swapped my shoes for lead boots? I have never been so happy to end a race. If you saw the joy on my face as I finish you might have thought I had just won the men’s 100 meter sprint final at the Olympic Games. Rather, I had managed to set a new personal worst record for finishing a race.
Hebrews 12:1 says,”Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Sometimes the race of life feels like an unending series of challenges. In such seasons, you may want to stop, reevaluate and re-strategize by:
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in hitom, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Reconnect with your Heavenly Father and basically spill your guts. You will know if you need to repent of any actions in getting yourself to this point. It might even help to speak to someone. Then reconnect with the reason you do what you do. If you don’t know your ‘why’ it is hard to push through hard patches, near impossible. This might even mean going back all the way to your drawing board and taking a fresh look at your life plan or creating a life plan.
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
It is amazing how incredibly difficult the simple exercise of resting can become. Be it rest in the Lord, resting your body, resting your mind or your eyes for that matter. Not so long ago I was reminded of this when I needed to spend a few days in hospital for a broken leg and had to come to the conclusion that I had were no viable options but to rest my body and rest in the Lord as my leader and strategic partner in life.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Nourish your soul with His word and worship Him. The irony of the situation is that we are refuelled by pouring out our worship to Him. Renew yourself in Him and He will give you wings like eagles.
As you reconnect, rest and refuel may the Heavenly Father reenergise you for the abundant life He has called you to.