Somewhere in between the lace tying and the desperate gasps for breath, I am learning what it means to worship.
Hit the track; one foot in front of the other. Round the bend; measure the pace. Breathe.
I run because I can. These legs, though awkward and painfully slow, go forward. I run because I need firmness beneath my feet. Running grounds me. I need God because I can’t do it on my own.
On a good day, I get out all of the junk within my heart. Every impatience and criticism falls as sweat beneath my feet. I feel less burdened then, more like how I was meant to be all along. I run faster, lighter, and sing. There is purpose in each step.
On a typical day, I don’t feel like running at all. I conjure up any number of excuses. Mostly too busy and too tired masquerade for too lazy. If I hit the track regardless, I’ve won. Stretch and put one foot in front of the other.
Not a mile and a half in, my legs are as dead weight. There are others who run faster. I care too much about where everyone else is on the track. In watching the others, I forget that I’m there to worship. I don’t want to ever forget.
I focus, listen, pray. Defeat wants to creep in. I have to remember that it was never meant to be easy. I’ve got to learn to praise anyway. At its heart, worship is praising in the pain and in the pleasure.
Hebrews says to run with perseverance with your eyes fixed on Him who bore our sin. Run towards the cross. Follow His steps, follow His suffering. I learn this as I run; one foot in front of the other.
Yet Jesus endured the cross not for pain, but for the joy set before Him; for the end of the run; the redemption of our souls. He didn’t focus on the pain, staring at the joy. There’s nothing better than the end of a good run: the exhilaration, the relief, the accomplishment.
Somewhere in between the lace tying and the desperate gasps for breath, I am learning what it means to worship. There are so many more miles to go.