“Lean into the wind. The more difficult the going, the greater the reward” (A. W. Tozer).
This morning, 5,838 people ran 26.2 miles to complete the Twin Cities Marathon. It’s a beautiful fall Sunday here inMinnesota. The sun is shining, and the trees are in full color—a great day to be outside and to get exercise. But I think I’ll take my dog for a walk around the neighborhood and call that good enough for me. I have no desire to run 26.2 miles. I have no desire to run any distance.
But I respect people who do. Yesterday morning my daughter Betsy ran the 5K race that’s part of the weekend event inSt. Paul. For several months, she has been part of a running club that practices twice a week after work. About ten of them signed up for this race and had a great time being part of the 1,819 who completed that race.
Why do it? Why push your body unnecessarily? Why strain your muscles to do work that accomplishes absolutely nothing other than straining your muscles?
Exercise is self-imposed difficulty. And, as Tozer says, facing difficulty, working through difficulty, overcoming difficulty brings a reward.
What is the reward? Strength, confidence, health, and the capacity to face the next difficulty.
I could see, in Betsy’s face the minute after she completed her race, that she had indeed received her reward.