This morning I hit the road for the last run before the big Ukrops 10K race this Saturday morning. It was a light day since the “experts” suggest going easy the week of the race. So, yesterday I ran four miles and today about four and a half. Now it is time to give the “old” body a couple days rest before the competition.
This is the first race I have ever run. Well, almost first. I did do a leg of the 880 yard relay team in high school. That was so long ago that they still measured in yards. Since then I have speed walked and moderately jogged for exercise, to some degree, every week. But competing in a race is uncharted territory for me.
I have taken this whole idea pretty seriously. I have jogged three or more times a week for a couple months now doing the full 6.2 miles (10K) at least a hand full of times. My best time was last week at about 68 minutes for the entire distance. My original goal was to keep it in the low 70’s for the race. Then I changed it to maybe breaking into the 60’s. Now I would love to see 65 minutes. That may be beyond the reach of someone who is almost as old as the number of minutes he wants to run it in. What ever the time, I intend to enjoy the experience.
I have to say though, that all the prep for a race and conditioning of the body to get and remain healthy is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to spiritual conditioning and spiritual healthy. I know so many people who are “obsessed” with conditioning and physical health while their souls are sick and on life support.
I just can’t forget these words penned by a guy named Paul hundreds of years ago because they are just as true today as they were then. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. “ (1 Timothy 4:8) In short, godliness is the pursuit of becoming more and more like Jesus.
The point here is, what good is it if we devote all our time to getting and staying physically healthy and neglect what is most important? What good is it if we have a body that turns heads and a soul that has one foot in the grave? What good is it if we win competitive awards and loose the most important award of all?
I am not in any way suggesting that we give up caring about our health. We need to stay healthy because we are the dwelling place of God, but that’s a subject for another time. We do however need a healthy balance of care for our spiritual as well as our physical wellbeing. And if we are excessive in any direction it should always be in the direction of the spiritual over the physical. After all, Jesus did say, “How do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Mark 8:37-38)
Understanding His words in the context of this discussion is to say, “There is absolutely no benefit to having physical health at the neglect of your soul. Nothing deserves more devotion than the health of your soul.”
Neglect this instruction and you just might discover that the race of life has passed you by.
See you at the race.