Category: Running

Time to Quit?

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

This verse gives the big picture in life. This is the one thing I will never quit. Following Jesus to the very end.

But given that I’ll never quit the main event, how do I discern which things I should quit, and when?

I don’t quit easily, but sometimes it’s OK to quit.

Here’s an example. I have served as a running Race Director for almost 25 years.

The job includes organizing and recruiting volunteers, permitting and fees with the town, coordinating snack delivery, putting all the markers on the course, and deciding whether to proceed or cancel if thunderstorms in the area that night. And using the bullhorn to announce the start of the race and the awards after.

There’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment when all the missing pieces come together, and the racers enjoy a good race. Indeed, I used to think thought I would be a race director until they pried the announcer’s bullhorn out of my cold, dead hands.

But due to the interaction of my afib and meds, I have lost the drive that propelled me as race director for so many years, and I won’t be able to continue as race director.

But that doesn’t make me a quitter in life. Because I won’t stop loving God.

When former pleasures are stripped away, I want to remain in God’s love. I want to still sing heartfelt praises. He is the invisible God who really did become personal in Jesus, who walked on this earth in the Middle East.

And Jesus said that his greatest commandment was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second greatest was “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (See Matthew 22:37-40)

Such a simple motto: Love God and love people. Of course, it takes a lot of wisdom to figure out exactly how to live this out each day, but it’s the one thing I don’t want to quit doing.

God Loves and Sustains Us … In Surprising Ways

Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
(Isaiah 47:4)

This verse is one of the most beautiful statements in the Bible about God’s care. It has extra meaning now that I have so much gray hair, but it applies to you too even if you don’t have a single gray hair yet.

But there is one danger in dwelling on a verse like this. We may drift into thinking that we’ll have no difficulties…. or at least that if there are any, they will be quickly resolved in the way that we want! We start to think we know exactly how God should act to fix it for us.

Not so fast! Compare our opinion of how we think God should serve us to what God says about his character.

I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
    and I will do all that I please.’
(Isaiah 46:10)

You mean God is not going to take care of my immediate needs?? You mean God might contradict what I know I need and want in my life.


I like Tim Keller’s view that when we pray and don’t get the answer we want, God always answers our prayers in precisely the way we would want them to be answered if we knew everything he knew.

I do agree that God always gives us what we would ask for if we understood the whole story.

Personal example: I planned to excel in my age group as a runner as I grew older. I believed God would provide, and if anyone asked how come I was so fast for my age I would give credit to God.

But then, I got a heart rhythm issue a few years ago: persistent afib. My great senior running career plans ended. Now I can only jog, yet somehow it is part of God’s plan. I now tell people that being able to even jog at my age is truly a blessing!

Yes, God is definitely caring for me and sustaining me… just not in the exact ways I initially thought he would.


I was running on the path that’s near the Seaton Hackney Stables recently and there was a huge pile of horsefeathers ahead of me. A man hiking with his family said: “You’re going to have to jump over that!” I was tempted for a second, but I replied, “Nope, I am running around it.”

Had I jumped and missed I would have had my shoes and shins splattered with horsefeathers.

Had I successfully hurdled it I would have been quite a star in front of this family.

I like to express my Christian convictions in my blog. I don’t want to wimp out. But in the world of blogging and in the Twittersphere, there are many arguments where each side says to the other, “Your opinion is horsefeathers.” Indeed, that attitude often gets a lot more re-tweets!

But my goal is to keep the spotlight on Jesus. So, if I disagree with you, I’ll try to do it respectfully. I don’t want us splattering each other with horsefeathers.

Peace Far Beyond Logic

‘Jacob will again have peace and security,
    and no one will make him afraid.
 I am with you and will save you,’
    declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:10b-11a)

I had read this text plenty of times over the years but, more than I realized, I was using reasoning to try and understand it. This past summer though, this passage drew me far beyond logic until there were tears in my eyes.


I rarely feel anxiety but twice in one week I woke up in the night with my heart pounding. Unexpected obstacles had suddenly arisen in planning a road running series for our running club [that my wife and I were directing.] There was last-minute miscommunication and misunderstanding with the township whose field we were using. They might suddenly nix our plan to hold the races there.

Lying wide awake with my heart pounding, I was not able to just logically and rationally say “Heart, slow down.” With this burst of anxiety, God disciplined and challenged me, daring me to cut down my trust in my own logic.

This kind of divine logic overrule can happen even when we are not doing anything disobedient towards God. Yet, as a friend in my Battleground men’s group reminded me, God sometimes lovingly corrects us with a view to growing us. God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:10b-11)

So we were going through the trial and were not sure of exactly how it would end…. would our whole race series have to be cancelled? Could we have a sense of security and lack of fear even in the middle of uncertainty?

We knew that God does not say “yes” to every request for the removal of obstacles. He often does, but it is not guaranteed. But there is a guarantee of being comforted, even having joy, right in the middle of everything hitting the fan.

So we did pray that God would clear up the obstacle. We are thankful he did, and our series went on as planned. But what was amazing was how we began to experience God’s provision of peace even before that prayer was answered. We got a taste of what true peace and security mean. That was a nice step on the way to being able to resist when unpredictable circumstances start to drive us nuts!