About Run For God
Why did I want to write a Christian running devotional?
I started running in January 2007, and I was hooked from the moment I started. My first actual race was the Peachtree Road Race on July 4, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia. A few friends and I signed up for the race. We didn’t have a plan, and we didn’t ask for advice. We thought we knew everything about the sport. All we knew is that we had to cover 6.2 miles in the summer heat, and we had to finish.
When we finally crossed the finish line, I remember some of us being sore and some being so burned out that we that we would never run again. For me, that first race was life changing. I had just caught a glimpse of something that I could not get enough of.
I came home and told my wife, Holly about the experience. I was sore and hurting in places I had never hurt before, but I somehow convinced her that we should run a marathon together. Holly told me that there was no way she could, or would, run a marathon. Six months later, after a lot of hard training and support, we ran the Disney Marathon and crossed the finish line together. We felt like we had accomplished something, even if we had to walk downstairs sideways to stop the sharp pains from shooting up our legs.
In 2008 and 2009, I got to the point where I was signing up and training for every race I could get my hands on. I was obsessed with endurance sports. We even got our son Lane involved in Iron Kids, where he did great, placing seventh at the national finals in Tucson, Arizona.
Through all of that, I remained what I thought was faithful. I tried to be at church every time the doors were open. I often thought about how I could start a running ministry and even came up with the logo almost two years before the book was written. I was often convicted of not spending enough time with God and in His word. I knew what God was trying to tell me, but I just didn’t have enough time for Him. I could spend 15-20 hours a week in the final months preparing for a race, but I couldn’t find 15-20 minutes a week to be alone with God.
Preparing people to be better witnesses for Christ... Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually
Physically - Create a healthier you and make it possible to reach a new demographic of non-believers - potential believers!
Mentally - Learn the discipline and endurance that it takes to "Run the Race Set Before Us"
Spiritually - Learn always to give God the glory for all that we accomplish.
Well, I am convinced that God will do anything He wants to get your attention, even if it means getting your attention at times you least expect it. At our church’s homecoming lunch I sat down beside some friends of mine that I had known for the better part of my life. They have always been solid, mature Christian leaders in my eyes, and they both also love to run. After we had talked for a few minutes about some races my family and I had completed, my friend looked at me and said, “Mitch, don’t let this become your God.” I was shocked. Here I am talking about running, traveling, and my kids, and he is trying to give me pointers on my faith.
It wasn’t until that night that my friend’s words really began to sink in. I started thinking back on the past few years at all the hints God had given me that I dismissed, like starting a running ministry. God had put someone in my running world in my path to get my attention and set me straight. Within a day or two I had dragged out the logo that I had sketched a few years ago. I knew I had to do one of two things: either stop using this sport that I love as an idol and an excuse, or use it to further God’s kingdom.
I am not very comfortable with sharing what God is doing in my life. This is where the logo comes in. A few weeks after that conversation with my friend, I showed up on his doorstep one afternoon with some t-shirts that had a funny-looking stick man on them. They read, “Run for God.” I told him that from now on I would be sporting one of these shirts while running, whether on the treadmill at the gym or in my next marathon. Maybe this would force me to get out of my comfort zone and share what God was doing in my life, because I knew people were going to ask about my funny-looking t-shirt.
As my pastor has said many times, I still felt as though I needed to do more. I tried to figure out how I could get others to wear the shirts. Then I thought, “What better people to sport these fashionably correct shirts than people who love to run, and love the Lord?” This also got me thinking about the people over the years who have told me that they would like to get into running, but didn’t know where to start. That is where the book was born.
I hope I can teach you a little bit about running and we can teach each other a lot about our enduring faith, while telling others about the great God we serve.