But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
This particular training for an upcoming race has not been my most, ah, beautiful.
It's just been dang, dang hard.
I don't know if it's the continuing Texas heat or some deficit in my diet.
Or just my attitude.
My running partner JT and I are used to a few tough weeks when we begin to train in earnest. But usually by this point, we're strong and striving, feeling the results of long hours on the road.
Not this time.
I haven't felt like running. I've run. But I haven't felt like it.
And I haven't had any runs this training season that have that magic. That place when I actually forget I am running and I am just thought and heart and music. Where my legs just go and my mind can roam and create and sing.
Haven't been there yet.
The temps have dropped. We've had some rain. I was better about my nutrition pre-run. My iPod was charged up and stock full of good music. And I was Not.In.The.Mood.
But I stopped asking myself how I felt. And I laced up my shoes. And got on the road.
That place finally showed up where my body ran and my mind was free and peaceful.
My spiritual running training is so like that. The climate of life, the heat and humidity of strife and conflict, saps my desire to run. My spiritual nutrition lags and then so does my energy. I ask myself too often if I feel like training, consulting my soul instead of my spirit. And in the running of the soul, I feel every step, feel every stretch, feel every stone and every uneven surface.
My feelings scream louder than my lungs.
But if I will just stay in the training. If I'll just quit asking myself how I feel. And if I will just continue to do the hard work of spiritual training. Doing what's right even when I don't feel like it. Practicing of shutting my mouth when I could blab. Corralling my thoughts when they scatter to negativity and jadedness.
I have a day of spiritual running where doing the right thing becomes more effortless. A day when the spiritual training leaves me stronger and not feeling depleted. A run when praise runs through the iPod of my heart, when my feet shod in truth move without restraint and my mind is free.