Growing Roots ~ Week 34
Once again, running with my son on Saturday morning allowed God the time and place to speak to my heart.
This week, my son decided he’s interested in running another 5k. We found a local one in a few weeks so we really need to focus on our “training” which can be difficult with school in session and hot August afternoons that don’t lend themselves to safe temperatures for running. So, we took advantage of a cool (yet muggy) Saturday morning to try to run a “mock” 5k.
I had a goal: I wanted Bubba to complete 3 miles in less than 30 minutes and to run the first two miles without stopping. I explained my goal and reasoning to him as well as our plan for successfully completing this goal. And then we set off.
Our first mile was SLOW!! My watch told me our pace was OVER ten minutes per mile and my legs told me we were going too slow for comfort. After much prodding and encouragement, we made it close the end of that first mile. I told Bubba to turn around at “the split” and I would run a bit further before turning around (about 0.2 miles). This would allow him to get ahead of me but still within “catching” distance. I told him my goal was to catch him before he completed the next half mile.
Evidently, when we parted ways and I quickened my pace, so did he! He was almost impossible to catch! I did not catch him in that first half mile. In fact, it took me a full mile to meet back up with him. However at the end of our second mile, our pace was 8:30 per mile. I challenged Bubba to do it again and to run at least until we reached the cul-de-sac, our previously arranged mileage. He agreed and we continued running.
Even though he walked a bit of the cul-de-sac, when I caught up with him, we ran together and finished our run. Our final results: Bubba ran 3.0 miles in 31:00. I ran 3.62 miles in 31:00.
Throughout the day we talked about our run, our goals, our training plan, and our upcoming 5k. And here’s what I noticed:
The goals you reach and exceed
are the ones you set for yourself.
I had goals for Bubba, but they were not his goals and therefore he was less motivated to achieve them. I had goals for myself and I exceeded them.
When Bubba was running ahead of me, trying not to let me catch him, he made a goal for himself…and EXCEEDED it.
This is true in EVERY area of life. I see it in my marriage, in the fitness and nutrition accountability groups I manage and participate in, in Bible study or book study groups, church, family, etc. We all have different personalities so this may or may not be true for everyone, but mostly, I see that when people set their OWN goals, not dependent on other people and their desires, goals are not only met, but CRUSHED!! However, when we get focused on other people and how they are progressing, we take our eyes off our own goals and can be easily distracted and discouraged.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. AND LET US RUN WITH PERSEVERANCE THE RACE MARKED OUT FOR US, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (emphasis mine)
We are not called or asked or expected to run someone else’s race. It’s just not possible. We are called, asked, and expected to run our OWN race. Our race has enough obstacles and curves in it that tend to trip us up that we don’t need to try to navigate someone else’s course. God knew what He was doing when He designed the path for OUR life. It WILL look different the path for someone else’s life. AND THAT’S OK!!
If our goal is to out-do someone else, we will lose. We need to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS so that WE WILL NOT GROW WEARY AND LOSE HEART. When we take our focus off of Him, the pebbles in our path become stumbling blocks and insurmountable obstacles. But when we seek His face in ALL that we do, our goal can be clearly seen AND OBTAINED!
God has planted us where He wants us to grow. We will all go through spiritual growth spurts at different times and paces. We must learn to grow where He has planted us and at the rate He has ordained for us. Our goal needs to be aligned with His plan and will or our goal will never be achieved.
What goals have you set for yourself? Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your progress and set new ones. Just make sure you are setting YOUR goals and that your focus remains on Jesus!!