"A Foot Focus"

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By: Katie Rath

Hebrews 12:1, “...Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (NIV)

I am a runner, in almost every sense of the word. I picked up the sport in high school as a way to release frustration. I love running so much that when I injured my ankle a few years ago while playing volleyball, I ignored my doctor’s orders and continued running anyway, doing permanent damage to my body. I finally smartened up and have taken positive steps to get my ankle back in shape, but despite my efforts, sometimes the only way I can keep myself running through the pain or exhaustion is to watch my feet. Watching my feet forces me to push through everything and to concentrate on the task at hand. Physical pain can distract me, but so can mental anguish. The simple task of looking down sets my mind at ease. I watch my pacing feet and will them to finish my trail run, or the 5k race, or my treadmill training. Ten minutes later, I can look behind me and realize how far I’ve come, and I am encouraged even more.

I mentioned that I’m a runner in more ways than one. In truth, I do everything at a runner’s pace, even when I don’t want to. I have the type of personality that tends to overachieve, rushing through life and getting caught up in a lot of pain and frustration. In order to push myself through, I often find that I can trick myself into pushing through the same way I trick myself into running. If I can detach myself from the exhaustion, the hurt feelings, or the stress, I can focus on the task at hand. And much later down the road, I can look back and see how far I’ve come.

My “technique” has greatly influenced how I push through spiritual difficulties. We as Christians are all running a type of race that many writers discuss in Scripture. I am so easily distracted from the tasks which God sets before me, but when I feel overwhelmed or burdened, I know I need to refocus. The only difference is that instead of looking down at my feet, I look up to my God. He assures me that I’m okay, I push through the pain and the exhaustion, and I am able to continue the race set before me.


Heavenly Father, so many of us run through life, constantly being distracted by the pain and exhaustion of this world. But You have promised to give us strength if we only look to You. Help us to not get distracted, but to push forward and complete the tasks You have given us. We know it won’t always be easy, but we know that You will be encouraging us the entire way. Thank You for taking on our burdens. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Want More Life?, by Natalie Lloyd

Biblezine 2009: The Complete New Testament for Girls (Ages 13-19)

Think About It:

What kinds of things are distracting me from doing what God needs me to do?

How can I refocus my attention on God so I can push through the hard times?

Live It:

Though you may have not realized it, all of us are runners. Some of us run away from God, some of us run right past Him, and some of us, in our best moments, run right towards Him. Can you figure out which type of runner you are? Ask your friends or family for their opinions. If you think you are the type that often runs away from or right past God, ask your accountability partner, youth leader, or trusted friend to encourage you to stay focused on your race.

Power Verses:

Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” (NIV)

Psalm 119:32, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Katie Rath. All rights reserved.


Tell Us About It:
What do you do to keep focused on “running the race” God has set before you?

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