A runner pushes past the wall.
“Push past the wall,” my son told me when I started running back in the day. That was before we knew we had a runner in our family. Somehow he figured out himself about that wall. He started out in the neighbor’s pasture, running along its edge. Then he took to the road and entered his first 5K. Soon he was entering half-marathons, then a marathon, then a 100-mile race in the Keys. One year he ran all the way home from Norfolk, Virginia (170 miles in about two days). Every once in a while, he lets me know that he’s getting ready to do another big one, like one he did in Oregon last year called Lastest, not Fastest.
Back when he lived at home, he’d pace himself, some days running ten miles, some days twenty or thirty; then some days he didn’t run at all. Every time he sets out to run for ten or twenty miles I wish he will just go ahead and do it. But no. First he has to get ready. That means increasing intake of carbohydrates. He has to stretch. Then he has to get his mind ready. Finally, sometimes an hour later, he takes off. All I want him to do is come home safely; the sooner he leaves, the sooner he’ll be home. He doesn’t see it that way.
in life and in Marriage.
I’ve learned a few things from his running, and it reminds me of marriage. Dave tells our son that if he can take these principles he uses in running and apply himself this well in marriage, work, and relationships, he will be a success. When our focus is as bent toward success in marriage as in finishing the race well, our marriage is blessed.
To do this, there are some things we need to realize. Some of it we realize through head knowledge, and others we understand through experience.
- It’s a marathon. You are in it for the long, hard haul. You don’t complete Marriage 101 by doing short sprints.
- Get ready. Feed your body. In marriage, you feed your soul. Fill up on instructions in the Word; gather advice from others who have run the course.
- Get set. Stretch. If you’re going to run without tension and soreness, you have to stretch those muscles. This means you practice marriage principles. Learn to stretch by communication. Learn to listen by paying attention. Learn to be flexible by giving in and giving up SELF for the best of your marriage.
- Go. Keep your eyes on the goal. Seriously, if your goal in marriage is to create a marriage that is best for both partners, you will run with endurance. You’ll focus on completion instead of competition. You’ll focus on serving instead of selfishness. You’ll focus on truth instead of loyalty. There will be days you are best of friends. Other days you will need a lot of space from each other! Keep running the race.
When all else fails:
- Push past the wall. Every runner comes to a place where he hits the wall. He’s out of energy, out of stamina, and out of ideas. Hitting the wall feels like “you have run face first into a stack of bricks. . . . Every step is a triumph of will and you seriously doubt that the race actually has a finish line.”1 Every married couple has “hit the wall” in marriage. Some hit it harder than others, but we have all hit that wall, more than once. Push past the wall. You do this by doing all of these:
- A. Pray seriously. Ask God for help and for wisdom.
- B. Go get help. Find someone who has a marriage like you want and ask for guidance.
- C. Follow the standard of scripture and not what everybody is doing.
- D. When you can’t give any more (the wall is real), give more, because you can.
- E. Do not stop. Run until you reach the finish line.
If you’re a believer, then you know that the end goal is Heaven. To get there, you have to run the marathon. You’ll never make it to the finish line if you quit when you hit the wall. You have to keep going because this is more than just a race of endurance. It’s an opportunity to qualify to run the race, and to run it well.
Our Father is watching. He knows the pitfalls and He certainly knows every time we hit the wall. His power is available to help us push past the wall. He is waiting to help us in the marriage journey.
He is waiting to welcome us. All He wants is for us to come safely Home.
Source: Runner’s World. https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/marathon/a774858/how-to-avoid-the-wall-and-cope-if-you-hit-it/