As I finished the hill and got to a relatively flat stretch of road I was running so much faster. Did that hill just help me run faster on the flats? No, it couldn't be. There couldn't have been anything good from that hill? But as my legs kicked and my arms returned to a level swing I couldn't help but think that, the pain of hills were helping me in the long run. I mean, look at this elevation chart (full marathon in green) from the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon. You can see that the first 13.1 miles looks pretty flat, but then all hell breaks lose. Can you see this people, I am in TROUBLE! If you are reading this and you find me at mile 16 log rolling up the hill because I have lost my mind and I think that might be easier, please, please I beg of you to pick me up, slap me on the butt and tell me to keep moving standing up, and to stop embarrassing myself. Thanks!
Isn't that how life works as well? No not picking me up and slapping me, because you know I will slap you right back, but the hills of life. Jesus has put hills in our run towards Him. He knows when they are coming. He also knows when the downhills are coming too. And when we really think about it, the uphills are the events in our life that force us to draw nearer to the Lord. The uphills are the events when all hope seems to be lost and the only thing that is shinning at the top of these hills is Jesus. The death of a loved one, a failed relationship, a job loss, I could on and on. After those events, doesn't it seem like you are right next to Christ running with him?
Because when all was lost He was there. He didn't leave you. He helped push and love you to the top, to where now you can run through life with a greater sense of purpose, because now you appreciate the flat stretched of life.
Research shows that running uphill is not only better for your lungs, joints, knees and muscles but also for the psyche of a runner. Downhills seem easier and a lot more fun, but really your body is taking harder hit then if you were running uphill.
So maybe, the next time we hit an uphill stretch of life we should turn our gaze towards Heaven and praise our Savior for this uphill. Because God would not give us a hill that we couldn't climb. And you know what? Jesus is there helping you. This is hard to practice, when all is lost; to say thank you to God when you have nothing left, but when you reach the top you will probably see why He made you climb this hill. He is amazing like that.
Lord, I pray that as I climb the hills of life you help me turn to You and thank You. I don't do it enough and I know it's what I need to do. Please help me Lord when I do climb and help me feel your presence. I love You Lord. Thank you for the hills.