On Saturday morning, I bundled up and headed out for a run. It was cold and windy but sunny. And it was early… well early to me (8:30), I would have much rather been home snuggled up in bed for a lazy morning.
When I run, I usually go to a local park that I run laps around. Each lap is a 1/2 mile so I shoot for 6 laps. On this particular morning, the bright sun was shining on my face for 1/2 the lap and on my back the rest. When the sun was behind me, it was so cold. The wind was also blowing in my face and every step was hard, even the steps that were slightly downhill.
At one part, with the sun at my back, I looked down at my shadow. As I did, I let myself get frustrated with how “wide” my shadow was. I got down on myself for how poorly I’ve taken care of myself in the past, that I allowed myself to live so overweight. And each step became harder. I wanted to give up, to quit, to go home and crawl back in bed, perhaps after grabbing a donut from the Dunkin…
But then I turned the corner.
And the sun was shining on my face. The wind was at my back. Instantly I felt better, stronger, faster. With the sun in front of me, I could no longer see my shadow as it was behind me. I no longer was dwelling on my past failures. I was pressing on, running towards the sun. While running uphill, I actually began smiling.
But then I had to turn back away from the sun. As I saw my shadow again, I started to ponder how affected I was by the sun. And then my thoughts turned towards Christ. And what I felt was a perfect analogy developed in my thoughts…
When I am going through life on my own, not running towards Christ, but running after my own desires, the course can be hard, bitter and miserable. When my eyes are on me and my short-comings and my past failures, I can be overcome with depression and defeat.
But when I’m running towards Christ, the course may still be hard, but I feel energized and equipped to face the challenges. I am more joyful. I “forget the former things” and “press on to the prize”.
When I run laps, I have to run with both the sun on my back and shining on my face… but when I go through life, I want to run towards the Son and not away from it.