The sun was racing toward its peak so I swigged down the last few drops of coffee in my cup, laced up my shoes and forced myself to hit the blazing Texas roads. Before I arrived at my half way point to grab a cup of water, I was already desperate. I fixed my eyes on the pavement in front of me while the pavement behind fought for my attention. There was only about a half mile left to the water that would catapult me into the second leg of this run.
My body began to fear defeat. I threw my head back in disappointment and my legs nearly buckled as I approached my midway point. The park was closed! Turning around wasn't an option. I was thirsty and willing to do just about anything to get a swig.
We are running a spiritual race. Why is it that sometimes we quit thirsting? Maybe it's because we quit running. When I cease to run, my thirst settles and I no longer desire refreshment. To truly thirst is to experience a sense of dryness. It's hard to swallow, talk or focus on much else. If you've never had a strong desire for God I encourage you to run to Him. You will thirst, but the cup He offers is even greater than that first sip of water after forgetting your Camelback. Running toward God offers the opportunity for true refreshment.
Truth be told, running does not initially offer some magnificent feeling. I have to keep pressing on to get to that place, known as "the zone" because it's there that I know I'm able to continue. Every run is a search for that "zone." Initially, I thought I was running FROM something; my home, my stress, my life, but eventually I realized I was actually running TO someone. Someone greater than the hurt, disappointment, obstacles and failures; someone who knew what it was like to thirst.
I ran...and ran right into Him. It was a marathon with no medal that my eyes could see, no trophy that my hands could hold. And the finish line? Well, it was replaced with a river of flowing water. Forget the paper cup, for it says: "You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water." I jumped in with both feet and as His water washed over me my thirst was quenched and I was rejuvenated. So now, I run, I thirst, but for a different purpose and for someone who can truly quench my thirst. Every time I cross the finish line He is there waiting...inviting me in to a river of flowing water.
And that's refreshing!