Training for the Race of Life......Days 86 through 88 (Guilt)

Training for the Race of Life……Days  86 through 88
Tuesday and Wednesday - Trying to keep up a marathon running schedule and get everything else done can be extremely difficult.  So I just simply resigned myself that these 2 days were probably not going to be running days because life had just gotten too busy to get any runs in.  Which is ok with me because to be honest I knew that my body needed some recovery time, especially as the big day draws near. 
 I spoke with a man at our church who ran a marathon several years ago and his words surprised me, “if I had it to do over again, I would probably run less in training.”  Run less? My mind thought how can you run less and be prepared for a 26.2 mile race? It seemed impossible to me.  I was of the opinion that to get ready to run a marathon you had to run almost everyday and that there was no way you could skip one of your long runs.  No chance, no how, no way.   And yet here is a man who ran one, and who ran one in just over 4 hours, saying “in preparation I would run less.” I told myself this as I had to skip those 2 days and I even read a lot of other people’s opinions on training for a marathon and many of them said the exact same thing.  As a friend of mine who was a personal trainer used to say, “less sometimes is more.”  Meaning doing less in the gym (or in my case on the roads) actually yields more results because it gives us time to recover.  And if we don’t recover we can’t get better. 
 I knew all of this and I believe all of this, yet when you miss 2 days of running in a row in the middle of the week, a tinge of guilt creeps in.  At least it does for me.  I didn’t run for 2 days and I felt guilty about it.  I tried to tell myself that I was okay that I had already logged a tremendous amount of miles getting ready for this race, that I would do my long run tomorrow, and all of that but I still felt a little guilty. 
 Do you ever feel that way? Maybe not about missing a run or a workout, but in life?  Guilt in life can actually be a good thing because if you are a follower of Jesus and you are feeling guilty about something perhaps it is God’s way of saying, “you need to allow me to change that situation and to change you.”  If you don’t have that relationship with Jesus, then guilt may be God’s way of  convicting you and your heart for that relationship. 
 Guilt can also be a bad thing.  As a Christian if you have repented of a sin and have allowed God to change your life and you still struggle with guilt, it may be the devil’s way of pulling you down.  Jesus said, “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come so that you might have life to the fullest.”  Unnecessary guilt certainly steals our joy away so as Christians if we are repentant and changed we don’t need to continue to feel guilty.  In fact God’s word puts it this way, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  In other words God doesn’t remember our sins, so why should we.  If you are feeling guilty, evaluate you guilt and if it is unnecessary then claim God’s promise and be free of it.  Free so that you can live life unhindered, so that you can live life as Jesus said “to the fullest”. 
 So run free and run with Jesus.  By the way I did get in a long run on Thursday and I’m feeling good and getting prepared.