It's How You Think About It
I only really know one runner who could give any advice about week of prep for the race—my husband. And he didn’t disappoint.
“Once you’ve run more than 10 miles at one time, distance isn’t about how fit you are. It’s how you think about that distance.”
I felt like I should know that, like I did know that, but seeing it from him was a “oh my goodness, yes!” moment. I have done 13.1 miles—twice—to prepare for the run. The first time, at 10 miles I was frustrated it wasn’t over yet. The second time, though, the thought was “just 3 miles to go.” It may not seem like a drastic change, but it made a difference.
I’ve been thinking about my husband’s advice this week, and I’ve realized it’s true with anything in life.
Being a Christian isn’t about how many Bible verses you have memorized. It’s about your relationship with God. Going through trials isn’t about how quickly we can get through them or even being where we want to be. They’re about how we grow. And believe me, that is the hardest thing for me to come to terms with.
It’s interesting that I should receive this advice as I’m reading a book that dives into the way we can reframe our struggles through God’s word. So how do we think about things differently?
It starts with our self talk. We have to stop telling ourselves we are failures, that we are unworthy, or that we aren’t god enough. I’m guilty of this. Struggling through anxiety and depressive episodes, there’s a mean voice in my head. But I don’t want to give her power anymore, and you shouldn’t either. God doesn’t think that of you, and if your Father doesn’t think that, then you shouldn’t either. Speak to yourself the way you would speak to a loved one in need. Be gentle with yourself.
Go slow. Take things one day at a time, one step at a time, one thought at a time. Start reframing the small things.
God is the ultimate way we reframe our lives, so spend time with Him, however that looks for you. And if you aren’t sure how to do that, start small. Say a small prayer in your safe space. Find a Bible verse that speaks to you and recite it. Just call on Him in overwhelming moments. God isn’t looking for you to do it “perfectly”; He just wants to see your heart.
Being “spiritually fit” takes work, just like physical fitness. It’s a journey, not a destination. (Cheesy, I know, but true.) It comes through spiritual endurance. It comes from teaching yourself to go to Him first instead of anyone else. It comes from fueling your spirit right with His truth. The Lord knows I am far from doing this perfectly, but I work every day to retrain my brain and my spirit.
So the next time you feel weak and you think you can’t go on, or you feel frustrated you have “only” come this far, try to reframe that with God’s truth. You have come so far, progressed so much. The Lord will give you strength.
It’s all in how you think about it.
How do you reframe your mindset?
How do you think about your distance?
How can you reframe your trials to focus on God’s truth?
How do you gain spiritual endurance?