Feel The Burn
Luann Prater

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)

Jagged rocks sunk deep into my knee. They left a hole the size of a quarter and deep enough for my mom to wrap her finger in a washcloth and stick it down in it to clean it out! (How is that for way too graphic?) This 3rd grade bicycle accident left an impression, literally!

My knee always gave me trouble after that. Bike riding was still possible because I had the leverage of the other leg. I could walk for miles. But running was a different story. Running a lap in gym class caused my knee to swell the size of a small cantaloupe! If the teacher insisted I keep running, the knee would go limp and I would fall on the track.

The school nurse told my mom to take me to the doctor. He drained it, then wrote a note and handed it to my mom. A prescription? No, a note excusing me from EVER taking another gym class....EVER! Woo Hoo! I felt like I had just been released from exercise-prison!

What that did over time, however, was clip the wings of this butterfly. That note was my "get out of jail free card" and I pulled it out whenever exercise was mentioned. At first I was fearful that my silly weak knee would let me down and embarrass me in front of my friends, so I would just excuse myself from the fun. Then I just gave up all together, thinking I could never do anything physical beyond walking.

A few years ago, my sweet friend Lysa began running every morning. I remember thinking, I wish I could do that. My neighbor also runs every morning and asked if I wanted to join her. "Wish I could," I'd say.

Dealing with congestion in our chests one day, my hubby and I decided to go for a walk. Suddenly I blurted, "Let's run and get active enough to break this stuff up!" He looked to see if I was joking, then saw my serious face. So we ran.

And I liked it! I didn't even consult my knee! We made a second lap and I finally felt it -- the burn.

People talk about feeling the burn but I never really "got it." However, that day the warm sensation in my limp, lazy muscles felt good. Stretching past the norm made me feel alive.

Complacency is never good, not physically or spiritually. Fear of what might happen took the drive out of my physical life. Sometimes fear of what might happen can take the power out of my run with Christ.

Are you pulling out your note of excuses, explaining why being an active Christian just won't work for you? Or are you regularly feeling the burn in your walk with Jesus?

My husband and I are running twice a day now. I feel the burn and I'm LOVIN' IT!

Is God calling you to get off the couch and out in the world to make a difference? If so, get up and go with gusto.

Dear Lord, You never sat lazily on the sidelines and watched life happen while You were here on earth. You were active in the lives of others. Help me Father to love the burn that comes with stretching my faith. Take my hand Lord and teach me to run! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary by Susie Larson

Making It Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway? by T. Suzanne Eller

Listen to Today’s Radio Show

Visit Luann’s Blog and listen to her radio program Encouragement Café

Application Steps:
Stretch yourself today. What can you do to get off the sidelines of life and get into the race?

What excuses have I made to stay in my comfort zone?

Will I take that first step and decide to run my race with faith?

Who could I share this word of encouragement with to spur them to live an active life with Jesus?

Power Verses:
Hebrews 12:1, "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." (NIV)

Proverbs 31:17, "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." (NIV)

© 2009 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Unknown said...

I think this is definitely a hint-hint from God to enocurage me to get on the ball with getting in shape for a marathon I'm planning on running either in 2010 or 2011. We must stay committed to something, even though there will be times when we don't feel like it. Fear will definitely try to trump over us, but God has motivated us enough to have faith---that we can indeed do it.Thanks for the encouraging word.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I hear you. Exactly what I have been thinking. I have just started an exercise class at church so we can be fit for God's glory and energized to do His will. This will be appropriate to share with those that exercise with me. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I read the prayer at the end I felt God whispering that it is time for me to 'feel the burn' of the living my life more openly for Him by not living in my pit of pity and stepping out and no matter how hard it is to put my care for my family on the front burner

Blogger Unknown said...

laundry off the treadmill today so we can feel the BURN

Blogger heididh33 said...

Thanks for this encouragement! I'm part of a blog called "Conversations Challenging Complacency" because of this reason! It is so easy to become complacent but God is calling us for so much more!


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