This morning as I was going for a run I was huffing and puffing my way up a really big hill near where I live and I started thinking about the amazing similarities between running and fasting. (I know it’s weird, but I think it was God.)
While fasting we deny our physical body and are able to feel more acutely our ever-present need for God. I hate how terrible I feel during a fast – so physically weak and easily frustrated. But I know my heightened sensitivity to this need, which I could otherwise easily start to forget, is very good. It helps me to realize how unspiritual I am and how desperately I need God’s grace in my life when I am tempted to think too highly of myself. I’m reminded that I can’t do everything and I can’t even do anything of true value on my own apart from God. I need God to help me be a great husband. I need God give me the grace to lead a genuinely fruitful campus ministry. I need God so that I can even know or worship God.
Running produces a very similar effect for me. Coming up that big hill I felt like I may collapse at any moment and so in the midst of my wheezing for more oxygen I pray desperate prayers for his grace, mercy and power in my life and in the lives of those around me. We need God.