Impact

Ultra-Christianity: Part 1 – Introduction

     First of all, thank you Bible.org for inviting me to blog on “Impact”.  I trust it will make a positive “impact” on your lives. The title of this blog post is “Ultra-Christianity”.  This title is derived from an experience I had while training for an ultra-marathon.  The sub-title of the post is:  “Lessons Learned from God While Training For An Ultra-Marathon”.   When I first thought about training for and then running a 50 mile race, I prayed first and then asked God to teach me something during the process.  I once heard it said that

“a personal experience or endeavor that does not point to Christ, could be considered worthless.”  

     First of all, thank you Bible.org for inviting me to blog on “Impact”.  I trust it will make a positive “impact” on your lives. The title of this blog post is “Ultra-Christianity”.  This title is derived from an experience I had while training for an ultra-marathon.  The sub-title of the post is:  “Lessons Learned from God While Training For An Ultra-Marathon”.   When I first thought about training for and then running a 50 mile race, I prayed first and then asked God to teach me something during the process.  I once heard it said that

“a personal experience or endeavor that does not point to Christ, could be considered worthless.”  

     If I was going to train for and run this race, I did not want the effort to be considered “worthless”.  The second thing I did is make a prayer list of 50 people, one for each mile of the race.  During the race I prayed for that person during that particular mile.  I also found that the long training runs became a special time for prayer, listening to God, thinking, meditating on His word and precepts, etc.  This blog will be a place where I share the things God taught me, and sometimes reminded  me, of what it means to follow Him.  I hope it to be a place of interaction and encouragement for you.  I would also like to hear from you about experiences and understanding that you may have on the various sections to be covered in the upcoming blog entries.  Each subsequent blog entry will be on the topic God showed me in the order that He showed me.  This process happened over a period of about six months and covered 12 topics.

                Before we get into the blog entries to come, I would like to discuss a little bit about the title.  A traditional marathon is 26.2 miles long.   An Ultra-Marathon is anything longer than a “Marathon”.  Hence, an Ultra-Marathon is a race beyond 26.2 miles.  Some “Ultras”, as they are often called, are 40, 50, 100 miles, and longer.   Traditional or typical Christianity, although a good thing, falls short of what I believe God wants for our lives.  Wherever we are in our spiritual walk as Christians, God wants us to go further, go beyond the typical, traditional mindset.  He wants us to take it to the next level up and become Christ-followers.  There are a lot of Christians around us, but how many Christ-followers do you know? I believe there is a difference in those terms.   Those, who are dedicated, disciplined, discerning, passionate, faith-walking, loving people who are focused on Christ and trust God with all of their heart.  This type of Christianity I have dubbed “Ultra-Christianity”.  Meaning to take Christianity beyond the standard, beyond just going through the motions of Christianity.   God challenges us to give Him 100%, to strive to be more like His Son. 

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  – James 4:8

     The ultra-marathon race I trained and ran was 50miles, the “Gortex 50mile Endurance Challenge  (and it was every bit of a challenge).  Why run a 50 mile race?  People sometimes ask.  Well the obvious answer I give is ‘How else can you get to the finish line?’.  If that doesn’t satisfy them, then I explain that in an Ultra, you don’t have to run as fast as you do in a marathon.  But then people may ask, then why run a marathon.  Then I would reply, because you don’t have to run as fast as you do in a 10K, and so on, you get the picture.  But seriously, I signed up to run the 50miler because I have a passion for running and I always wanted to run an ultra-marathon.  The estimated number of miles I have run in my life is approximately 31,000 miles.  The earth’s circumference is about 25,000 miles, so basically, I am on my second lap. 

    

As mentioned, the next blog post will start the topics, or lessons God showed me.  The blog posts are divided into two sections: the topic and how it applied to running and also how it applies to the Christian walk.  Looking forward to discussing the topics with you!

8 Comments

  • Avatar

    SonShine

    marathons etc
    What a challenge for the new year…will be looking forward to reading your posts.
    Welcome to the bible.org impact blog…may be for men, but we women learn a lot from you guys as well. 🙂

    • Avatar

      thom.garrett

      thanks

      Thanks for the welcome!  I agree, men and women can learn from each other.  I look forward to reading "Tapestry" blogs as well.

  • Avatar

    Lance Ponder

    Welcome

    Welcome to the Impact blog. I look forward to reading what you have to write here. Like sonshine, I'm really not sure why this is a "men's blog." We don't sit around smoking stogies and telling war stories or burping and farting. LOL. You've got wonderful things to share and I'm sure everyone who reads will be blessed.

    • Avatar

      thom.garrett

      welcome

      Lance, thanks for the welcome.  I'm not sure about the stogies and war stories, but the others seems to happen about 14 times per day (on average).  I started reading your blog the other day. I enjoyed pondering (pun intended) your thoughts and insights. 

  • Avatar

    Mike Cha

    great post!

    Hi Thom,

    Thank you for this encouraging post! Personally, I can't even drive 50 miles without getting tired.  =)

    Your post reminded me of Luke 9:23:

    And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."

    Looking forward to reading about what the Lord has taught you, brother!