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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Brouillet

race for life

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Back in action

This week, I started running again, which (I’m embarrassed to admit) is something I haven't really done in the past year. Running used to be a passion of mine and a daily outlet. But once I quit competing, I lost my motivation to stick with it.

What running this week has shown me is just how out of shape I am. I used to go for six mile runs, and now I can’t jog for 20 minutes without feeling sore afterward.

I found myself asking if it was worth getting back into. It was disappointing to realize how far I’d let myself go, and I was a little ashamed by how much I struggled. So why try? Why not stop and quit worrying about it? For me, the answer was simple: it makes me stronger.

The same can be said about faith. We train our hearts and souls like we train our muscles. It takes consistent effort, but the payoff is worthwhile.

Faith resembles a race. We all stand at that starting line, but not all of us choose to take the first step. Others of us choose to drop out when it feels too challenging or run off course when we decide that there’s something else we’d rather be doing. It’s important to remember that this race is a marathon, not a sprint. We all move at our own pace. The key is to not quit moving.

Never too far

In faith, like in running, it doesn’t matter how far removed you’ve been or how poor your habits are, you can always come back. And the more you work at it, the easier and more natural it becomes.

A friend recently texted me a reminder of a video we had once watched in youth group. The video was a skit for “Everything” by Lifehouse.

This skit begins with a young woman and her beautiful relationship with Christ, but it’s not long before worldly struggles enter the picture and send her on a downward spiral. When she’s at her breaking point and contemplates ending her own life, she chooses the Lord again. But as she begins fighting each of these hardships, she realizes that she can’t do it alone. That’s when Jesus steps in and takes on all of her burdens for her.

Rewatching this video was a reminder for me that we are never too far gone to come back to Christ. God doesn’t separate Himself from us; we separate ourselves from God. He chooses us every time, and He’ll choose us again when we are ready to come back to him.

Song of revival

When I shuffled my playlist today, I stopped in my tracks as Lauren Daigle’s “Still Rolling Stones” began to play. This song is exactly what I needed to hear as I wrote about revival through Christ. In this song, Daigle sings:

“I thought that I was too far gone

For everything I’ve done wrong

Yeah, I’m the one who dug this grave

But you called my name”

This song is a reminder that we have the choice between life and death. Everything we speak and do that is not of God is of death. But even though we slip up and slide away from the Lord at times, we are ALWAYS welcome back. We can always choose life and seek revival through Christ.

Returning home

Scripture says that God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), which is when many of us turn to and depend on Him most. When we are most vulnerable is when we understand that we cannot stand alone. We need God. Remember that He wants a relationship with YOU and wants YOU to come home. All we have to do is turn back to Him.

Jesus shares with us the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. In the parable, a father has two sons. The youngest asked his father for his share of the estate, which he squandered in wild living. When a severe famine came over the land and the youngest son was in need, he came home to repent and humble himself before his father. Despite the son having turned away from his father to live in sin, he was welcomed home with open arms. While the father embraced his son and celebrated his return, he declared:

“‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’” Luke 15:24 (NIV)

Just as this father celebrated his son’s return, our Father will celebrate ours. It doesn’t matter how far we’ve drifted away or what decisions we’ve made, we are always welcome home.

Putting this in practice

Although I am far from the runner I once was, each jog I take makes me stronger and brings me closer to my fitness goal.

Our race for life will take similar practice. Each day, we can choose to make our faith stronger and bring ourselves closer to God. Choosing life can be difficult. But the more you put it into practice, the easier it will become. Remember that God’s arms are open wide for you. All you have to do is run to Him.

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