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Leneita Fix

Leneita has been involved in youth or family ministry for over 24 years serving in rural, suburban and urban settings, camps, small and large churches and non-profits. She has authored or co-authored several youth ministry books, including Everybody’s Urban Understanding the Survival Mode of the Next Generation among others. Leneita is the ministry and training coordinator for BowDown Church, co-founded a coaching and training organization called Frontline Urban Resources (everybodysurban.org) and lives with her amazing husband John and four children in Florida.

About 6 months ago I took up running.   I have never been a runner, liked running, or had a desire in anyway to run.  However, it is my husband’s “sport” and I thought I owed it to him to give it a try.   My first day out was laughable.   I walked more than I ran, my asthmatic lungs hated me and I think I made it maybe a mile.  Since that time this activity has become my outlet, as I train for a half-marathon.

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Yesterday, I was going along in my favorite spot when I passed an older gentleman jogging along.  There was nothing about him that looked like he was enjoying himself.   A pained expression crossed his face, his feet barely scuffled along,  and he was wearing four brace contraptions on his legs to keep him moving.  As I kept going his form kept coming across my mind.   He might have been plodding along,  but he never stopped. To quote an over used Biblical analogy,  I was struck with how much life and ministry really is  about “running the race.”

Here are my thoughts to keep going:

Pace Yourself:

Sometimes it’s really easy to start out strong.  While the first mile may hurt the most, it is also where we have the most will power.  As your lungs burn and muscles ache you slow, and want to quit.  Slow and steady to the end is better than a burst of energy and a fizzle out.

 

Keep Moving:

Every runner talks about hitting a “wall.”  This is the point at which you have a choice to quit or keep going.  It is usually just beyond this point when a new surge of energy hits.  The Lord will do the work, he just doesn’t want us to give up.  His greatest desire is that we are ever moving towards him and his purposes.  Even a shuffle forward builds momentum.

 

Running Makes You Want to Run:

When I started training I ran a 16 minute mile,  now I  can run a 12 minute mile.  It does not always “feel” like I am making progress.  Yet,  for each small accomplishment, I have wanted to put another foot forward.  Sometimes life with Christ is hard.  At the same time being with Him makes me want to go on this road farther at His side.

I can’t deny when I run God is evident there with me.  I see Him in His creation as I pass by.  I feel him as the body he created is pushed to the limit.  I know He is near and it causes me to praise him.

Aren’t our actual races in life and ministry eerily similar?

 

How do you run the race with Christ well?

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  • Scott Tinman says:

    Great post and welcome to the running community…joined it a year ago and totally relate to this post and how it parallels our Spiritual run!

  • Scott Tinman says:

    Great post and welcome to the running community…joined it a year ago and totally relate to this post and how it parallels our Spiritual run!

  • Later this Summer, I’m speaking at a high school camp week with the theme of “…to the end.”

    This is the perfect post for what I’ll be talking about!

  • Later this Summer, I’m speaking at a high school camp week with the theme of “…to the end.”

    This is the perfect post for what I’ll be talking about!

  • Rebecca Jo says:

    Oh friend.. I’ve done so many posts on running & races that teach me so much about God … its where I feel the closest to Him as well… & not just because I feel like I may die with my lungs bursting :)

  • Rebecca Jo says:

    Oh friend.. I’ve done so many posts on running & races that teach me so much about God … its where I feel the closest to Him as well… & not just because I feel like I may die with my lungs bursting :)

  • Hattie S says:

    I’m a recent convert to the running community (ran my first race last fall and now am signed up for my first half marathon this summer!) – it’s been a rough few weeks for the running and the ministry, but I’m hitting the pavement again this week and read this at the perfect time. Thanks for your words!

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