by Rhonda Rhea
I just finished my morning run. Wait. Did I say morning run? I meant morning donut.
Most of the time if you hear me mention my “morning run,” it refers to my trip to Starbucks. And it’s in a car. Maybe even in my ducky pajama pants.
I was considering actually going for a real jog this morning, though. Then I decided to just do a Google Earth search of a nice, scenic route in my neighborhood and trace it with my eyes several times. My eyeballs are in the shape of their lives.
While some call my morning donut your basic overload of dough, fat and every form of sugar, I prefer to think of it as carb-loading. I do admit that I’ve been carb-loading since around 1985. On the upside, I’m one of the few people truly carbohydrate-prepared for a spur of the moment 500K.
If only I could run a race using just my eyes and all these carbs. Unfortunately my thighs might have to come along too. I try not to mention running where my thighs can hear me. They get upset and start to spark. The thighs tell me the spark is all about friction but I think that’s probably just the way thighs exhibit a panic attack.
I can put off my thigh-readiness for the time being, but my soul? Never. Soul-readiness is essential for running this life-race with alertness and running it in victory. Firm thighs would be nice, but a firm faith is critical. We’re instructed to pay attention to our faith. “Keep alert. Be firm in your faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13, CEV).
God is calling us to attention. He’s calling us to stay alert to our faith condition. Keeping the faith means never quitting. Just the opposite. The evidence of a “faith kept” is growth. A firm faith flourishes.
Paul talks about that stop-being-a-baby kind of growth in Ephesians 4:14-16. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
So whatever my thighs decide to do, the rest of me has no choice but to grow. To firm up. To make a resolute, firm decision to give my faith-life my focused attention. Second Corinthians 1:24 says that “It is by faith you stand firm.”
And just so you won’t think that I’ve replaced every one of my brain cells with donut batter, yes I do know that being soul-ready and body-firm are not mutually exclusive. I wouldn’t exactly call it a “firm decision,” but I’m gradually working up to a regular fitness routine. Very, very gradually. I’ll probably start with a rigorous eye-tracing of a half-marathon.