Insight From Running
If you've been reading my blog, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that I am an avid runner. A few years ago I decided to run a marathon. I trained all summer and early fall to run in mid-to-late October. Then a friend asked me to run another one in April. This meant I had to do all those weeks of training through the winter. I religiously trained, though I spent many, many miles going around and around and around the track at the YMCA (hey, it beats the treadmill!).
I logged a lot of Y miles over the past four years, especially in the winter. This year, however, we canceled our Y membership - mostly because of the time it takes us to go to and from the gym. It's a good 25-30 minutes each way, meaning I'd have to block out at least an extra hour for a workout.
So, as long as the roads aren't ice covered, I'm running outside.
One thing I've found is that what I run in is of utmost importance. I have several pairs of running tights (I've been wearing the warmest pair this week), but anything above 35 is shorts weather. Otherwise my legs get too hot. On top, I have several different running shirts (technical fabric - good for wicking away sweat), and when it's extremely cold I'll wear a jacket, too.
Add gloves and a headband or hat to that and I'm fine. Right?
This past week my face has been the coldest I can remember. Yesterday I thought my cheeks might crack. I think I'm going to get a running face mask of some kind. Preferably sooner rather than later. The problem has been big enough that I don't end up running nearly as far as I want (nor as fast). In fact, as I write this, I am thinking about going out for a run, but I just don't want to expose my face to the wind.
What does this have to do with anything?
I can get everything else right, but if I'm neglecting one area, my life won't be the life it was meant to be. If I do everything right in public but neglect my personal time with the LORD, I'm leaving my face exposed to the wind and cold. If I'm engaged in sinful behavior or sinful thought patterns, I'm likewise exposing my face to the elements, no matter how well I'm dressed otherwise.
When Jesus told his followers to "be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48), he was telling them: if you want to follow me, you'll have to be all in. You can't compartmentalize your life and trust me in some and trust in yourself in others. You can't have it both ways. You're going to have to follow me with everything. Dress yourself completely in me. Otherwise your life won't be the life God meant for it to be.
So, how are you dressed for the weather? And how is your life dressed for following Jesus?