Beyond the shadow of a doubt

(via Travis Hallmark - Runner's World)

This morning while waiting for The Dome to open I struck a conversation with someone in the parking lot.
"Are you also waiting for the training group?" I asked.
"Yes, I don't really run, I mean, I haven't in a long time. Are you a big runner?" She asked.
I replied hesitantly "I am a... little runner".

I had no idea why I said that, or why I was reluctant. I have been running for the better part of a decade, there are running group rosters with my name on them, I have ran many races, I have bibs with my name on them, finisher medals, and a worn pair of running shoes sitting right next to me right now, waiting to be replaced. Yet, I hesitated to call myself a runner.

I thought about it for a few laps on the track, and then I decided I would not choose out of fear anymore. Because that's the root of it, isn't it? I don't really believe I am a runner because I'm afraid my pace is too slow, I am afraid I haven't ran the Boston Marathon yet, I'm afraid that the work I've put in is not good enough, long enough, far enough... you name it. I doubt.

Two more laps passed when this thought occurred to me: if we don't believe we are XYZ even when we have the "credentials" to prove it, what about the things we take on faith? Do I really believe I'm forgiven, worthy, wonderfully made? Can I call myself capable, strong, and beautiful? Do I really believe it or do I still hesitate deep down?

And then it hit me: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -Mark 11:24. He didn't mean just things, he meant all the life giving traits, everything we hope to be and we want to be, will be given to us according to his will but we have to believe. The amplified version of this verse reads "believe with confident trust", that means without a doubt in our mind. It starts with the belief -beyond the shadow of a doubt- that we really are who we think we are, so that without hesitation we can go be who we want and need to be in the world.

As we finished our workout, my new friend came walking back for a drink, pinching the muscle where a side stitch was hurting.
"That was hard" she said.
 And I replied "Yes, but you did it, good job. You're a runner."

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