Aaron, Adam, Faith, Health, running

Psalm 121: One Mile at A Time

It’s here!  Tomorrow is my first long running race.  I have 12.4 miles to run.  As you can see from the map below, the first 6 are uphill!


As my stomach is churning in anticipation for tomorrow, I find myself drawing together all my nerves and attempting to put them all to good use in focus and determination for what I have ahead of me.

In April, I mentioned that I am praying through my miles.  I need that.  I need to focus on something other than me for these 12 miles that have me so terrified excited about. So, after some thought and prayer and practice, here are my miles planned out:

0-1. Me
        Scripture teaches so clearly on the love one has for him/herself.  I do so many things from selfish ambition, so this mile, the first, is for me.  Why?  The first mile I run is the easiest.  My sinful heart loves myself first.  In the same way, the first mile is the mile I want to run and the mile that is the easiest to run.  I want to go, to reach my goals, and to not quit–the easiest to accomplish but the least important in reality.

1-2. Adam
        Adam, you get the second mile in this race.  You were my inspiration for getting healthy in the first place and continue to be one of the biggest reasons I run today.  I am so encouraged by your love and as I am always excited to reach my 2-mile mark, I am excited to only be growing in love for you.  This mile I run and pray for you!          

2-3. Bowmans
        Dad, Mom, Aaron, Mandy, and Justin: This mile is for you.  I’m so thankful for the love that you have shown to me as the newest (wow…2 years…) member of this family.  I am praising God for each one of you (yeah, even you, Justin… you get like .1 of the mile or maybe just the water station lol) and am praying for you through mile 3.

3-4. My Church
        I have come to understand what the function of the church body is through the love that I have been shown and called to offer for this local body.  I pray for the spiritual and physical health of my local church through this mile, as I often do as I pass the grounds we will one day build upon.  

4-5. My Local Friends
        Sometimes in the midst of busy schedules and a lifestyles that don’t always overlap, my local friends and I don’t connect as often as we’d like.   This mile is for you, my friends, as a praise for your love and your faithful friendship, and as a challenge to you to press on in this race.
5-6. My Friends from Afar
        You know I hate the phone (but I love Skype!).  However, I am so thankful for you guys!  I miss you all, I treasure all the memories we have had together, I rejoice in what God is doing in and through your lives, and this mile I dedicate to you.        

6-7. A Mile of Praise
        By this time in the race, I will know that I am over halfway done.  I will be rejoicing that the first half of complete uphill is behind me!  This mile I dedicate to praising God for His work, His faithfulness, and His empowerment.

7-8. Work Friends
        Oh, you know who you are!  I am so thankful for you, my fellow workers.  You make the long days in the office fun, you keep me smiling and laughing, and I am thankful for you guys.  The 8th mile is a drag for me normally like any work day might be, so this mile I run with a smile for you guys and pray that God will do awesome things in your lives!

8-9. Special Needs
        There are certain of you that are on my heart especially today, and I know that God has put specific people on my heart for a reason.  There are special needs of my friends and family that I cannot rightly put into words or encapsulate in this little summary even pray thoroughly for in this 1 mile.  However, this mile I will do my best and dedicate to those special needs that I know that you carry on your hearts today.

9-10. Prayers for the Future
        By this point in my run, I am tired.  I’m looking forward to the end. This is also the time that I feel the most tempted to slow down, to walk, and to quit.  In the same way, it is often hard to remember where we have come from spiritually and just to see how far we have to go.  I’m dedicating this mile to praying for the future of my life spiritually and to ask for wisdom for Adam and I as we make decisions for our future.

10-11. Bricks
        It’s no mistake that you, my family, are my mile 11.  The longest and steepest section the furthest way into the race will be the hardest test of my love for running.  It is at this moment that I will need to be the most focused, and as you all are so close to my heart, praying for you will be my intent focus.

11-12.4 My Greatest Priority 
        I am only as good as my hardest moments, only as strong as my weakest times, only as strengthened as those times when I am tired.  As I close the race, I pray my mind will be on the Source of my Hope, my Strength, and my Life –Jesus Christ.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

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