I decided to try Matt Fitzgerald’s marathon training plan, which is based on heart rate rather than pace. The long runs have been excruciating as I’m capped at a heart rate of 160. My max is over 200, so to keep it this low feels painfully slow. Yesterday’s 14-mile run took me over three hours! Given that I can run a half marathon in about two hours, it felt like I was crawling!
Yet, it occurred to me that God is using this training to develop meekness in me. I recently heard Dr. Greg Stone teach, “We tend to equate meekness with weakness because they rhyme in English,” but nothing could be further from the true meaning. Meekness is power under control. Like Jesus when He could have smoked those who crucified Him…but chose not to. Having power, but choosing not to use it. I could have run much faster, but chose not to.
I don’t yet know what this will yield in my running or my walk with God, but recognizing the spiritual significance of developing this discipline gave the exercise meaning and allowed me to endure. Once I realized the value, I was able to stop fighting the impulse to run faster, settled in, and enjoyed the run. Still, I look forward to seeing what will happen when my power is unleashed—and even more so seeing Jesus in His full glory!