As I typed out this word last week – Cross –Training – something stood out that I had never seen before: C–R–O–S–S training.
In scripture Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. “And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) This is a hard task for anyone and we can’t do it without Him. “…for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) But with Christ, we “can do all things” because He strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
For runners, cross-training consists of any kind of exercise that is not running. This keeps their muscles fresh and less-injury prone. For Christians the same is true. Running is not, should not be, and cannot be the only thing we do 24/7. If it was, we would crash, wear out, and become weak and injured.
God doesn’t intend for trying circumstances to last forever in our lives. They are there only for a season. Some of us may choose to live in depression or self-pity once the trials are over because it gets us attention, but if we take a minute to look up and acknowledge the God of heaven and earth, we can find that we are already accepted, loved, and cared for by the One who made us.
Can you imagine, if after you won a race, all you ever talked about was how sore you were while you were running? You complained to people about how hard it was to train, how miserable and tired you were… Would you do that? Most likely not. Rather you would probably go around telling everyone that you Won the Race! How exciting! Sure you might tell people how hard it was while training and then that final stretch, oh how your muscles burned with every step. But you won! You did it!
As a Christian,
God takes us through life circumstances that are in the valley, while others are on the mountain top, and yet others are in the dessert. Why? Because if God had us go through the same type of “running” all the time, we would burn out. If we lived on a mountain top, eventually we would run out of oxygen; we aren’t meant to live up there forever. Desserts are dry and if we lived there forever, we would eventually die of dehydration. Valleys on the other hand are beautiful! So lush, green, and full of life! The only problem with living down in a valley is that we can’t see very far. This messes with our curiosity and desire to see more, so we never enjoy it’s beauty because we are so focused on, “What’s on the other side?”
Where ever God has you, know that He is keeping your faith muscles fresh and strong. He knows full well how important cross-training is. We must let go of our desire to just run, and run, and run some more. Unless you are an elite runner, most likely you are only going to be running once a day. Even elite runners only run twice a day. What are you doing with the rest of the day?
Don’t let your curiosity and desire to see more ruin the benefits of cross-training in your life. Let go of your life and take up your cross and follow Christ.
Happy Running Ya’ll!