I have shared numerous times of how vital music is to my life. Well, it additionally became a staple as I ran. Even though I’m often with a group, I still have my music playing, even on a low volume to hear my surroundings and engage with my running sistas. Most recently, I noticed that my music on my iPhone stopped playing during my runs. I assumed it was a result of the phone’s slow death due to all the cracking, shattering and brokenness it had sustained (don’t judge me, please). So, in the interim, I elected instead to listen to my podcasts of Bishop T.D. Jakes. This completely sufficed, and yet there was a bit of longing for my music. About a week ago, I purchased a new iPhone. When I prepared to go on my first run with my new phone, I noticed that my music still wouldn’t play. I returned to my podcasts, and began running. My last four runs have been faster than I’ve been in a long time. I’m not wedded to the idea of being fast – I want to endure – but knocking off a little time in my average pace is a welcomed event. As I celebrated the effort, I couldn’t help but think of the impact and the correlation if indeed we, “Run the WORD!”
Jeremiah 15:16 reads, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” As by the grace of God we are afforded a new day, we can take rest in the fact that as we enable space for the Word of God to settle within us, we will experience joy! Imagine what a difference that small step alone can have upon a challenging day ahead (or run for that matter). This is critical to me. When I’ve not eaten properly, it shows up in my run – and not in a good way. But when I’ve eaten green, protein, less candy (Lord, help!) and more water, I feel better, I run better and I’m not a salty mess at the end. Hebrews 4:12-13 declares, “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.” And why would we? Each of us come in contact with empty promises, sometimes, we may even be guilty of participation in the delivery; but isn’t it magnificent to know that God’s Word has the ability to fulfill and even sustain, no matter what?
While I’m running, I use an app called, Runkeeper, that tracks my mileage and pace. Once the app gets going, and maintains my speed, it determines an average. If I slow down, the voice on the app will state, “Activity stopped.” In order for the tracking to continue, I usually must pick up my speed. When I do, the voice says, “Activity resumed.” I get a little ticked off when it happens because it’s not as though I’ve come to a complete stop, but apparently, its enough to make the app think that I have. I am reminded of Galatians 5:7, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” While running, there are many distractions; one must be careful of debris in the road or sidewalk so as not to fall; or there are others around that may throw one off. Even greater for me are the mental distractions, thinking about things at work, or in ministry, or bills, lack of time, unfinished business, etc. While running this race, its easy to succumb to comparing self to others. However, we have no idea of each other’s historical underpinnings, nor the effort it took, or takes for them to stay in the race. That is why the Word of the Lord tells us to “run the race set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). We may all be in the race together, but finishing is an individual task. Distractions are hinderances to our pace occur whether we are running or not. No matter what presents itself to us, we mustn’t stop moving forward. The enemy would prefer that I and you, come to a complete stop, flag down a ride and give up, on more than just running. Yet the more we Run the WORD, the more we apply it to our path, repeatedly, come rain or shine, morning or evening, crowded run or in isolation, tired or energized, the result each time will be that we win! I believe I’ll run on, and see what the end will be! Won’t you run with me?