Monday, January 28, 2019

God Could Care Less How Strong My Legs Are!

My career as an ultra-endurance runner reached its pinnacle when I became the first person to run solo across the Mojave Desert in 2011, from the Grand Canyon to Badwater Basin, Death Valley. I accomplished that run at the age of 46, completing the 506-mile course in 17 days. I officially retired from running across states and countries in 2016.

Since my high school days in the late 1970's and early 1980's, I had always worked hard to strengthen my legs so that they could withstand the pressure of intense and extreme running. I would strengthen the muscles of my quads, hamstrings and calves and would aim to maintain an equal balance of strength. As a result, I suffered very few running injuries and was pleased by the strength of my legs.

I've been a Christian longer than I've been a runner, and I started my running career in the mid-1970's. I've always enjoyed reading the Book of Psalms in the Bible, that book primarily being penned by King David of Israel. The Book of Psalms, is generally believed to be the most widely read and the most highly treasured of all the books in the Old Testament. It's a collection of poems, hymns, and prayers. With all of the leg strengthening I did, and all of the running accomplishments I've experienced, I know that God isn't interested in the strength of my legs, but rather in the condition of my heart. Psalm 147:10-11 reads,
"He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legpower of the man. The Lord is pleased with those who fear Him, who hope in His loving devotion."
God does not take pleasure in us because of our achievements or potentialities. He is pleased with character rather than capacity. God takes pleasure in those that fear him (those who truly worship him), in those that hope in His mercy, in those that walk humbly with Him and call upon Him. It is a pleasure to Him to have the guilty, the feeble, the undeserving hope in Him, trust in Him, and seek Him. My legpower doesn't give God pleasure. However, my heart for Him does! God regards humble piety with more interest and pleasure than He does any mere human strength or power.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso