I remember the first run I ever went on: it was a hot, humid morning in Jacksonville, Florida, just a couple of weeks before the first day of my freshman year of high school. I had never been on a run before, but the four-mile loop that my cross country team ran that morning was transforming! The route looped around the St. John’s River boardwalk with a beautiful view of the Jacksonville skyline. We ran through the city and through parks in old town San Marco. Seagulls soared above and Spanish moss trees were fully bloomed around us. I remember breathing in the morning air, feeling the bounce of brand new Nikes beneath my feet and fueling off the energy of the girls in my running group. After that run, I was instantly hooked to the sport. Fast-forward a few years, and I was one of the fastest runners in the state of Florida. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had running dialed in. My runs were no longer about feeling good and enjoying the scenery—each run was purposeful and goal-oriented. I had specific paces to hit and heart rate zones to achieve. And when it came to racing, I found that the good races were separated from the bad in one simple way. Two-thirds into any race, you will find yourself facing a decision to make: do I remain in my comfort zone? Or do I dig deep, find that next gear and break barriers?
I often times examine my faith in the same way I examine a race. It’s easy to get stuck in the comfort of our routine—to remain “surface-level” in our relationship with Jesus. We pray or read our devotional just to check off boxes in our day. But are we really seeking God in everything that we do? Don’t we want that “next-level” devotion and passion for Christ? Don’t we want to experience God in every aspect of our lives so that he can transform our way of living? When I race, I don’t want to be mediocre. I want to run the race of my life. And when I spend time with Jesus, I want him to light up everything I do. I want others to see him in my words and my actions. And this takes deep conversations with Him, frequent reflection of my life, as well as involvement in a faith community such as Foothills Christian.