Trust the Program

So, today starts Week 4 of the Couch 2 5K program.  After completing Day 1 about 3 weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see Week 4!

I came out of Week 3 really scared.  My first day of Week 3 was my best based on how I felt, and the rest of the week was a bit tough.  Let’s just say I didn’t feel ready to move up at all.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the words “trust the program” on the Couch 2 5K facebook wall.  There are so many encouraging people there – total strangers no less – but who are glad to give you some motivation to keep going.

And although I think most people agree that Weeks 3, 4, and 5 are the toughest (and mostly Week 4), the majority of the advice is “trust the program.”  If you do the small steps day by day, you’ll be ready to move on to the next thing.

So, I woke up this morning to the hottest day this year.  Humidity.  Short on sleep because I “had” to stay up and watch the LOST finale.  And I dragged my sorry self to Armstrong Park to try out Week 4.  I’ll admit – I didn’t expect to finish.

But finish, I did.  It hurt a bit, I was SUPER slow, I sweat a LOT.  But I did it.

Actually, God did it.  I prayed about every second through that 33 minutes – or at least the first 28 before the cool-down walk.  I knew I didn’t have the strength to do it, but He did.  Before the last 5 minutes, I prayed specifically for my body parts.  “God, my legs hurt.  They are weak.  But You can make them strong.”  “God, my lungs hurt.  They are weak.  But You give me life and breath, and You can make them strong.”  “God, my mind is weak.  I don’t know if I can do this.  But You are a God of encouragement, endurance, and perseverance.  Help me to run this race you have set before me.”

I know that this “trust the program” is one of the key lessons God is trying to teach me in this running journey.  Life with Him is about obedience day by day.  Following His program TODAY and not worrying about tomorrow.  And when I’m faithful to just keep putting one foot ahead of the other, He and He alone will sustain me and give me strength.

Some days are rainy; some are hot.  Some are lots easier than others.  Some go according to our own plans, but many do not.  Because HE sees the bigger picture, and knows where my path is headed when I do not.

I’m learning to trust Him not just day by day, but second by second.  Because He will give me strength for each day, and it in turn prepares me for what is to come tomorrow.  I’m almost afraid to learn why He knows I’m going to need it…

God’s version of “Trust the Program” for me right now, from Isaiah 40:31:

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Trust in the Lord, and I will run and not grow weary.  He’s been proving that to me week by week, day by day, and second by second.


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