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When the Going Gets Tough

One of our boys has been training with a former Olympic athlete to prepare for track season. He will be running the 800 and 1500. Last season he led most of the races he entered until the last lap, then he faded badly. I recently watched one of his workouts. His coach had him run several fast 300 meter intervals with a short break in between each. At one point my son said, "That's it. I can't do any more." But his coach convinced him to run another, then another. He was training his body and his mind to push through when it felt like he couldn't go any more. It's late in the race when lactic acid begins to build up in your muscles and your lungs are burning. It hurts! I've heard it said that the best distance runners aren't always the best athletes, rather they are the ones who are mentally strong and can push through the pain. If you've run a marathon, a half marathon or even a 10K, you can probably remember a point when you thought you couldn't go any further. Marathoners call it "hitting the wall". When you get to that point you have to make a choice. You can quit or you can push through and keep going. But if you choose to keep going, you have to change the mantra in your head from "I can't do this anymore" to "I think I can, I think I can". (Or something similar - too many years of reading "The Little Engine That Could" to my kids!) We run into the same challenges in life. Maybe your career isn't what you had hoped and now you hate to go to work. Or you are facing a difficult time in a relationship. Whatever the challenge, you are still left with two main choices: you can quit or you can push through. I'm encouraged by the passage in Isaiah 40:31 "But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." It's a comfort to know that whatever I'm facing, whatever seems to be more than I can handle - if I trust in God, He will provide the strength I need to make it through. Maybe you need someone to push you a bit, like my son's coach. Come join the CRT for a run this week and we will gladly provide some encouragement to spur you on. On Wednesday we will meet at noon at the new Millrace extension to the Clearwater trail. It's on the corner of 32nd street and Jasper road, between Agnes Steward school and Douglas Gardens school. On Saturday we will meet at 9 am at Millrace Trail. On Sunday we will meet at 3 pm at Clearwater trailhead. I hope to see you out there. Have a great week! Pastor John