How Do You Run to Win, When You Hate Running?

Run to win

Do you ever have words that echo in the caverns of your mind? Words that bounce back and forth and seem to get louder instead of dimmer?

It happens to me a lot. This week the words were birthed from last week’s blog about my precious daughter-in-law Jenny. In my Bible study I ran across 1 Corinthians 9 where Paul talked about running. If you follow me, you know I’m not a runner. While I love the outdoors, running just isn’t part of what I do…period! But Paul said,

1 Corinthians 9:24Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 

“Run to win!”

Jenny started preparing to run her first Marathon while heavy snow still blanketed the landscape where they live. She ran in spite of the inconveniences which would have stopped lots of people completely.

Icy sidewalks.

Single digit temperatures.

Juggling schedules with young children is never easy.

But Jenny just ran.

Run to win

She ran with a running group.

That made it easier to plan.

Every week.

Same days.

 Same group.

Different places so the trek didn’t become boring and routine.

They ran purposefully and together.

Encouraging each other.

Motivating each other.

Enjoying the experience together.

A unique group of totally different personalities and professions with a common bond to run a marathon.

It strengthened Jenny’s endurance, but the fact is, she didn’t need much encouragement. Jenny has a heart to run.


Her running group started the marathon together, pacing themselves to simply cross the finish line.

In a marathon crossing the finish line is winning!

Everyone that finishes is a winner. They accomplish a feat that the average person will never do.

As Jenny jogged with her friends, she found herself jogging in place waiting for them to catch up with her. Again and again, she slowed her pace and waited.

Finally, the call to run faster was too loud to resist and she graciously waved goodbye and sped away.


For the remainder of the race, Jenny ran her personal best.  As I mentioned in my previous post, Jenny came in 4th place in her age group.


Life, all of life is a marathon.

You gotta pace yourself.

Sometimes you sprint.

And sometimes you plod slowly.

Climb tough hills that challenge you.

But always, always run to win!


That’s the question I’ve been asking…praying really. “What do you mean, Father? How do you run to win, when you hate running?


And words like






All join my three ringed circus of thoughts.


i run with purpose in every step
I run with purpose in every step.

Paul answered my question with the simple explanation, “I run with purpose in every step.”

Winning is not about speed,

arriving first,

arriving with the most money,

or the most stuff.


So according to God,

the organizer of the race, running to win, means running ever step with purpose.


24Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 

25All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 

26So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 

27I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27


 Discipling my body,

my attitudes,

my emotions,

my resolve,

to do what is right in God’s eyes.


There is a poster that I hung on my wall as a child, “Only one life. It will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

only one life copy


And I realize that all of life can be done for Christ.




Changing diapers!


The mundane.

The routine.

Waiting for the extraordinary isn’t worth wasting your life to experience.

Savoring simple things makes the simple things extraordinary!

Simple trust.

Simple obedience.

Simple thanksgiving.

I pray that you will trust Jesus enough to believe every Word of Scripture deeply enough to obey what you see,

whether it’s easy or difficult

whether you like it or not

whether you want to or not

whether it makes sense to you or not.

I pray that you will run every step with purpose.