Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

11.20.2014

But I Will Never Run a Marathon



It was mid-day on Saturday, and I was dying.

My lungs were burning, and my fingers were freezing.  My knees were aching and my tongue was parched.  I had run 9.75 miles with the last quarter of a mile looming before me along with the knowledge that I was running beyond anything I had ever run before.  I felt like an explorer of the barren Antarctic or the moon, for that matter. 

Along with my equally crazy friend, Sarah, I am training for a half marathon next year, so last Saturday was another normal episode in the training process.  Normal, except for the fact that I had never run ten miles before in my life.  And two weeks before that, I had never run 8.5 miles before.  And two months before that, four miles was my comfort zone.  And believe me, the idea of running a half marathon is much more enticing than the actual torture part.    

So as I have pushed my comfortable distance just a little farther, as I have pushed my legs a little faster, and my heart a little harder, I have slowly edged forward.  And now, I find myself in the unique position of being beyond my comfort zone, looking back in to that empty box, and not missing any of it! 

My discoveries in my running shoes hold true in high heels as well, so no matter what shoes you wear, here are three reasons you should run through that comfort zone:
  1. A comfort zone that is never challenged becomes a blindness to new possibilities. 
  2. You cannot scale a mountain you have never climbed before without a Guide: Jesus becomes very real at the edges of our comfort zones! 
  3. While comfort is not a sin, God's chief end is not for us to enjoy comfortable lives, but rather Christ-glorifying lives.  Comfort zones can become catch-alls for bad habits, laziness, and pride.

Paul loved his comfort zone of Pharisee-ism  until he was forced to confront how meaningless his comfort really was on the road to Damascus.  From then on, his life was not comfortable, but it was so much more.  Here is his perspective on comfort zones:

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. " {Philippians 3:12-15}

While I consider the fact that I am now becoming comfortable with the idea of a half-marathon, and quake in my running shoes at the thought of the full marathon, why don't we also consider what comfortable Christianity Christ is challenging in us?




“Runner,” © 2013 Alexandra E Rust, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! I'm impressed that you will be running a half marathon! :D I ran my first 5K this past summer... in Bend, where the altitude was really hard on me. :P I only practiced three times for it--never actually running a full three miles on any of those practices--but I made it in 28minutes! I was pretty happy about that. ;) I don't think I would want to run anything longer though. ;)

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  2. Lauren, good for you for training for a half marathon! Thank you for your good insights regarding comfort zones. After living too many years "trapped" in my comfort zones, I have experienced the exhilaration of pushing beyond them and finding the amazing assurance that Christ is always with me - so I may not always be "safe" in all situations, but I am secure in Him.

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  3. Good job! keep it up! I don't like the time investment required for something like that. I don't think I will ever run more than a 10K. Glad you have a friend to do it with, so important and helpful!

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