5:30 AM wake up–run a hill workout with arm weights and leg weights. I ran with a headlamp because it was still too dark outside to see the trail. The air was a crisp 35-40 degrees, while the stars shone brightly above me. Done running before sunrise.

8:00 AM–start time for my first ACT test. Not a great way to spend my morning, cooped up inside a classroom taking a test I was completely unfamiliar with.

1:00 PM–left to go paintballing with my brother and his friends for his birthday party. This required me to spend the majority of the second half of my day shooting paint at a group of freshman boys.

You may be wondering why I would blog about a seemingly irrelevant day, but let me tell you, I have reason for it, much like God has reason for all the small things in our lives. The reason I ran hills this morning was because I have to now train for State (I qualified for state at regionals this week!), and I have no other being to give glory to other than God himself–for blessing me, taking care of me when I ran, and for carrying me when I grow weary. Seeing the stars this morning was a beautiful reminder of the way God shines through little achievements in our daily lives. We are much too weak as humans to finish the race alone. Only God can help us through, even when we run away from him. When your lungs feel cold and you’re surrounded by the dark, don’t forget to look up, because God is in the stars, and the stars will shine for a million years and a day.

When it boils down to it, as runners, we can’t always get away with just being physically in shape. Our minds have to be in shape as well; for school, work, jobs, interactions, problem solving, etc. The ACT I took this morning really challenged my thinking abilities and all that I’ve learned in school thus far. Nevertheless, I know that whatever happens, I have to do my best and leave the rest to God. God is way smarter than I’ll ever be, so knowing that he’s in control of my test scores, grades, and achievements in school is much more comforting than thinking it’s all on me. School (and work) can be stressful and time consuming, but as Christians, we need to always remember not to let those things get in the way of our religion and worshipping God. God should always be at the center of every aspect of our lives, even if we don’t think he belongs there (because trust me, he always does!).

Sometimes we spend a majority of our lives around people who aren’t our type, or people we wouldn’t consider ourselves to really “want” to be a part of–like myself, for example, wouldn’t choose to spend the majority of my afternoon with freshman guys. However, there are millions of opportunities to reach out to those people every day! I guess you could say the metaphorical paintballs of opportunities are whizzing past our heads as we duck and hide from what God has called us to do. Stand up, be bold, and be brave. Because sometimes, getting hit with a paintball is just what we need to realize we may have something in common with another person, or we can be the light that reaches out to others. God doesn’t intend to hurt you. He wants you to take courage every once in a while and make a spontaneous run out into the battlefield for Christ. Maybe the people we think are our enemies, are really on the same team as us.