I believe taking care of my body is a form of worship. And just like other forms of worship – praising God in song on Sundays, tithing and serving on team at C3 Downtown Manhattan, I look after my health through the grace available to me. What I love about this form of worship, just like any other, is it’s not something I do to earn favor, it’s a response to what I’ve already been given. Just like we sing from a place of joy because we’ve been set free or we are generous with our finances because we’re secure in Christ and are compelled to give back to Him, I look after my health because I’m thankful for the body I’ve been given, and I value it because God values it.

Worshiping God in this way is so cool to me because it’s somewhere He’s graced me to excel totally by His strength. I did not, in any way, shape or form, grow up an athlete. I fell in love with running after college because of how I felt once I was done — free, strong, with a clear head; but I was absolutely not good at all once I started out. But just like with so many other aspects of my spiritual life, this was a place I needed to build endurance. Little by little, I got better, and I was able to translate this endurance, stamina and self-control to other aspects of my life. This is worship because I’m demonstrating I value what He values, and I know it’s His grace and presence that make me brave.

When I keep my eyes fixed on the finish line during a race, I can run with a purpose. It doesn’t mean it will necessarily get easier. My legs will still hurt, but I’ll know what I’m working toward — hopefully friends with an iced coffee and food at the finish line — and I can take courage. And when I keep my eyes on Jesus in my life, the same thing happens. Every roadblock the enemy tries to throw in my way no longer drags me off course, because I know who I’m running toward. Every time something of this world tries to steal my focus and cause me to worry, I can look to my left and right at the Daughters running with me, who will always be there to carry me along and reroute me in the right direction. And when I feel too exhausted to take another step, I know His grace will carry me. I can run this race and keep fighting because I’m already running from a place of victory in Christ.