"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

We Run With Grace

With each new RFG group, I like to stress the importance of running with purpose - being alert, trusting the plan, showing kindness, expressing gratitude, and perhaps most importantly, extending grace; grace to other runners and to all who cross our training path.

In a busy, bitter, and self-centered world, extending grace to others is one of the least expected responses. It doesn't come easily nor naturally. But running with grace tells others that "it's okay, I forgive you, you didn't mean to do what you just did, I understand, I don't hold it against you, I hope you have a great run anyway." It's the opportunity to demonstrate that our PR (personal record) race time is not so important that it comes at the expense of someone else. That no training run is so critical that a person in need cannot count on us to stop and assist. That a wave and a smile doesn't cost me anything, and it might just be the encouragement that you and I both need right now.

Ultimately, as believers, when we extend grace (defined as unmerited favor; receiving something that is not earned), we have the opportunity to model, in just a small way, the gift of grace extended to us through God's plan of redemption and salvation. As we read in Ephesians, "it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast." God, through his gift of grace, provides unmerited favor to us, not because we deserve it, but because he loves us.

So, the next time that driver cuts you off, or that slower runner asks you to hang back with them for a mile, or you observe someone obviously struggling, or, or, or ... extend grace, not because they deserve it, but because you love them. Pretty simple, never easy.


NOTE: The subject of grace came to mind while reading "This Day in Christian History.” The event, in AD 417 (some 1,600 years ago), was Pope Innocent's condemnation of Pelagius.

The full article is here: Pope Innocent Condemns Pelagius but in short, Pelagius, a British monk, had been teaching that man's nature was essentially good, and by way of achieving that “goodness," the grace of God, and the act of Christ, was not necessary. Pelagius saw the cross as a moral example and not an atonement of sin. Christian orthodoxy, based on biblical truth, and protected by godly leaders (Augustine for one), saw this heresy for what it was, and the Church excommunicated Pelagius.

The bottom line: Grace is always necessary and is always available to receive and extend.

Isn't history just almost as fun and fulfilling as running! Enjoy.

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