I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning, put on my running shoes and went for a morning run. This has been my routine so many days and is why I identify myself as “a runner”. I have been a runner since the day I signed up for the cross-country team in seventh grade, and have run thousands of miles since. I have seen the sense of community that running brings – the groups of people that gather for a 5k, or the immediate bond I feel with a person when I find out they are also a runner. For all you runners out there, you know exactly what I mean! If you meet someone and find out they are a runner, you are instant friends and have never-ending conversation about training plans, the best shoes to buy, and the best course to run for a PR.
Being a runner is something I have always been proud of and something that usually comes up in conversation at some point. It is a fact that is always included in the about me section of my bio – “in her spare time, Kelcie loves to run.” Being a runner, to me, shows that a person is disciplined, hard-working, and since they are passionate about their hobby, they are passionate about life too, right? For all the runners reading this right now, you understand, and would agree that you are proud to be a runner!
As much as I love being a runner, that is not my true identity. My identity is in Christ. He is my king and my redeemer, and all that I do and say should be to glorify Him. Yet, is this something that comes up in casual conversation? Where in my bio do I proclaim my faith? When I train for a race, I follow a training plan, try to eat right, run daily, get enough sleep, and be disciplined as I prepare for race day. Yet, as I run the race of faith set before me, knowing the prize is eternity with my maker, I often lack discipline – put aside my reading plan when I am too busy, lack patience when my day gets crazy, and fall into the pressures of this world almost constantly. Why is it that I am so quick to claim my identity as a runner, or even as a mom or financial advisor, or plug in whatever it is for you, but slow to proclaim the good news of Christ?
Let Psalm 96:2-4 be our challenge, “Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.”
Just as we find joy in running, may we find joy in Christ. Just as we find community in running, may we find community with fellow believers. Just as running often becomes a topic of conversation, let Christ be the center of every word we speak. Just as we train for a race, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
My name is Kelcie, and yes, I love running, but more than that I love Jesus. Do you?