Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Holy Saturday and Cardiovascular Fitness

Okay, so one of my Lent commitments was to run four times a week. I think I ran four times through all of Lent. I found that the weather wasn't cooperating for a few days, and then I just gave up. I still didn't drink any sweet tea or pop, but I missed the ball on that one.

Well, since coming back from the cruise, I have run five times. I am getting on track. The weather is wonderful, and I feel much better. But let me tell you about pain.

On Holy Saturday, I decided to go running. I knew I wouldn't be running on Easter Sunday, so I needed to git-r-dun on Holy Saturday. Let's just say it hurt. I was in pain, my lungs and legs were dead weight. But I persevered, not of my own strength, but of the strength of Christ. I thought of Christ on Holy Saturday, having just been tossed about the earth like a rag doll, lying in a grave, taking on the forces of death. How could the pain of my little run compare with his suffering? Yeah right.

So I kept running. On any other day, I probably would have cut it short...a mile is good enough, right? No, I ran and I felt Christ's presence (gee, I'm starting to sound like Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire), and I took the pain as fellowship with my savior. I think I've been avoiding pain...who hasn't? Nobody wants to seek pain...not even Christ. He didn't even want to face it. So why do so many people on this planet run through the pain all the time?

Some are running away from something: kids, jobs, marital problems, self-image problems. Some run for acceptance, thinking that losing weight is the only way to be pretty or attractive. But many run for more admirable reasons: for health and extended life, time with family and friends, more years to do God's kingdom work right here. I think on Holy Saturday, I found what it meant to run in order to fellowship with Christ's sufferings. In fact, the only way I can run sometimes is because of the fellowship of suffering that I have with the resurrected Christ.

It's funny that I'm training for a 5k. I ran cross country in high school, and every race was a 5k. It's amazing how out of shape I am. But, as the old adage goes, "you gotta start somewhere."
As I continue to run and train, that Holy Saturday run will stick in my mind. Thanks for the boost.

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