Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Run a Negative Split

Photo by Sally Rae
I had kept a slow and steady pace, but was more tired than expected at the end of five miles. This was my first attempt at a negative split.  This means running the second half of the miles faster, stronger, than in the beginning.

The tendency is to go out too fast in the beginning of a race when strong and rested, then slow significantly as fatigue sets in. It takes a lot of discipline and practice to achieve a negative split. I wanted to try it this morning because the idea intrigues me, not only as a physical discipline, but as a spiritual discipline.

I have loved the hymn "Last Mile of the Way" since Carl Blacketer sang it in my home church years ago. The words challenged me even as a young child to begin looking at my life as a journey.

But I am a late bloomer, a slow-to-get-it sort of person. I have so far to go before I become the person God wants me to be! I will probably be like one of those flowers that lives a lifetime, blooms for an hour and dies. I think I might learn to be holy for about an hour when I'm 100, then God will say, "Okay, you are finally finished. C'mon in."

But, I want to live my life in a negative split. Remembering the first half of my journey tires me with lessons slowly learned, stumbling on unnecessary detours in the darkness, my lack of concern for others running the race alongside me.

I can go the last miles of life's journey racing with the energy and focus I held back. I can train harder to finish victorious and strong.  I can renew my focus on the goal and keep determination steady. And, I can race in a way that encourages and sharpens those who run, stumble or wobble alongside me.

Are you running the race to win? Do you hear the crowd of witnesses in the stands cheering us on? Faithful is He who calls you and He will bring it to pass if you do not give up.

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