When I woke up this morning, I really didn't have my decision made on whether or not I would do my tempo run inside or outside. In fact, I really had prayed about it and wasn't getting clear direction either way. It was almost one of those situations where I felt like God was saying, "Choose."
I checked the weather. 22 degrees with an 11-mph wind. "Not too bad! I think I'll head outside!" The thought of running in actual scenery was pretty exciting.
Well, the run didn't start out so well. The cold wasn't so bad, but the wind was a lot stronger than the 'net said it was. My first mile was just brutal, running into an icy headwind.
Mentally, I was wrestling with whether or not I made the wrong desicion in going outside. "Lord, did I not hear You right? Should I have gone to the treadmill? This is so hard! It would have been so much easier inside. My times would have been guaranteed, and I wouldn't be fighting this awful wind. Did I make the wrong choice?"
Over the course of the next couple of miles, I got a great lesson. It was okay that the run was hard! It was okay that it wasn't easy. Yes, the treadmill would have been a much easier choice for the day. But did that make it the right choice? Not necessarily. Sometimes it's good to be put to the test. Sometimes it's good just to fight through a tough situation. As the old addage goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
I think that if there was anywhere in Scripture that said the Christian life was full of easy tasks and chores, we all would have found it by now. We'd be claiming it daily and enjoying a life of bon bons and bubble baths. But that's not how we grow. We grow when we are challenged and make it through tough situations. There's nowhere that says following Christ is easy, but there sure are plenty of verses about perseverance. For example, James 1:4 says, "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Here's the thing. Did I make the wrong choice in going outside? Absolutely not. What I did was choose the path of MORE resistance. And that is perfectly okay. In fact, I'm stronger today for it. Thank You, Lord, for sustaining me and giving me the endurance and perseverance that was needed for the HARD work this morning. Your name be praised!
P.S. Average pace for the total 9 miles was 7:37. With my 8:20 warm-up mile, my times were still spot-on. :) That's just a big, ol' blessing.