Last month I was hanging out with some friends and we started talking about New Years Resolutions, one of mine being to run a half-marathon at my personal best (fastest) time. They expressed amazement over my willingness to run 13.1 miles and then were shocked to find out I had actually paid almost $100 to become part of a running group. “Wait a minute” one of them said, “you’re actually paying money for the privilege to run thirteen miles?” after I answered yes she offered to run with me for $50.
I’m actually used to answering questions like that because it takes a special
(crazy) person to run a half-marathon, especially since one of our weekly training sessions is at 7:00 Saturday morning when the weather will be below freezing.
Before sharing why I joined this running group allow me to share a few reasons why I’m not…
It’s not because I enjoy running at 7:00 in the morning
It’s not because I am the fastest one in the group
And It’s DEFINITELY not because I look awesome in a pair of running tights
So why will I be running up steep hills at 7:00 on Saturday? There is a bonding that takes place between people in the running group since we meet at least twice a week to train (lots meet and run on their own during the week) so those who survive the training sessions and half-marathon will have an incredibly close relationship with one another.
This is particularly true for the people you train with (they are broken down into smaller groups according to speed) as the people who helped me get ready for a 5k in December have become some of my best friends.
It goes deeper than that though since we as Christians are called by God to have a social life that involves unsaved people as well as Believers, and if we aren’t careful, all of our time can be spent with other Christians. Of course spending time with Brothers or Sisters in Christ who will encourage us to grow is a wonderful thing, but fulfilling the Great Commission and reaching the lost in our community demands we interact with the unsaved.
Its possible to use things like work or classes for this relationship development, but true social interaction would need to take place in a more relaxed atmosphere (like my running group).
I understand that not everyone is going to run thirteen miles, but everyone has things they are passionate about, and those interests can be used as an opportunity to connect with unsaved people who love the same things.
So find some free time to invest in a social life with unsaved people…oh and if your in Buena Vista at 7:00 Saturday morning look for me. I will be the one wheezing and gasping his way up the hills.