“God Made Me Be Able to Run” by Betsy Flood
My faith has played a really large role in my running career, especially in the past four years since being at Iowa. Since being here, I have had the opportunity to be surrounded by some really inspiring Christians who have helped me to question the purpose of running and the purpose of life. I can now say that my intentions are to live every part of my life for Christ, and since running is a large part of my life, it has been a really exciting journey to see what all I can attempt to do with this wonderful gift that God has given so many of my teammates and myself.
Running has never been something that has come easily to me, but it had never been so difficult until the past year. I never realized how intensely failure on the track and cross-country course could effect my emotions! I have never had so many awful races in a row until this year, and I also have never cried as many days as I have in the past year. There have been lots of temptations to try to just take over and do everything on my own, at times I have even tried to do this, but am reminded that I can nothing on my own. I actually do not know how I could have persevered through this with my faith. Getting to go to church and worship or just having bible verses and people for constant encouragement has allowed me to remain hopeful that better things are to come, and to trust that God has a plan much greater than the plan I have for myself. I have learned the importance of praising God when you feel joy and goodness, but I have also learned that he is the ONLY one true joy and that nothing on this earth can even compare to that. This year has been lots and lots of disappointment and questioning but also has graced me with the chance to be more understanding, and humble. I have also been able to accept that nothing I do will make me any more worthy, but that the ‘great’ things I do are done through me by the Holy Spirit working inside.
So far in my life, running, though it is only the act of moving my legs, has brought me closer to God than any other factor. It has taught me so much about life! It is a chance to make use of the physical body that is a gift, to experience the beautiful nature, and to directly glorify God through pouring your heart into something over and over again. The opportunities associated with running have allowed me to touch and be touched by a great magnitude of people. This year I have especially felt undeserving of all the love that has been showered on me. Christ’s love has been showered on me through the acts of so many others! Mother Theresa once said, “I can do no great thing, only small things with great love.” This quote is just really wonderful to me! I recognize that I will never be the fastest in the world and maybe not even in a race, but I can take each day as a small opportunity to glorify God and make use of pouring love into the gifts he has given me.
My favorite bible verse is Romans 5:3-5. “Not only so but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” I pray that I may remember this for as long as this ‘suffering’ lasts, and to remain hopeful that the Lord has good things planned. I am thankful that he has given me this gift, and I know whatever his plans are will be the ones most worth following.