This last week I’ve had a hard time getting out the door by 5:00 to run. The cold weather is anything but motivating. In fact, last week I only ran once.

Last night I was determined to set myself up for success for this morning’s run. I pre-programmed my coffee pot to start brewing at 4:30, laid my warmest running clothes out, along with my favorite socks and shoes. When my alarm went off this morning I knew I had no excuse. I got up, got dressed, had my coffee and instantly felt like a new person (I might rely on coffee a little too much). I drove to Flo’s house, where we usually start our run, and was greeted by the rest of our group. Seeing them dressed in their running gear, ready to go, always energizes me and gets me in the mood to run. A friend that I run with four days a week gave everyone the cutest, most ingenious Christmas present ever. I had to take a picture of it to remember to make them for friends next year.

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Gel packs wrapped in a hankerchief! Such a clever gift for a runner.

Ok, at this point I was glad I got up. I have a great crew that I run with; they inspire me and get me presents. Wait, that’s not the right thing to say, is it?

But really, I do have a great crew. This morning we ran a 5k, which is my least favorite distance to run because I don’t enjoy running fast. I got off to a good start, but had trouble with congestion and ended up falling behind. The same friend that gave out Christmas presents stayed behind with me and helped me finish this morning’s run.

All of this gets me thinking about the season and the love Christ has for us; agape love. Sacrificial love. Typically this time of year I’m so busy thinking about shopping, cooking and making the holiday perfect that I forget the true meaning of Christmas. That we’re to step back and reflect on the love God has for us, so much love that He came down from heaven to save us all. And to do that He made the ultimate sacrifice, to die so that we may live.

Of course, He is alive and today we are called to live sacrificially, as He did. We can do that in our day to day lives. We can do that on our morning runs. We can do that in the toy store, the grocery store, around the fireplace or around the Christmas tree.

Sometimes a bad run can humble you and bring you to the place you need to be spiritually. It certainly did for me. Christmas is more than presenls, candy, stockings and reindeer. It’s Jesus.

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