Posted by: everynation | August 19, 2009

Honor the Pace

bert thomsonby Bert Thomson

I have the reputation, a deserved one I might add of trying to convert everyone to running. I just have experienced so much joy and satisfaction from it, that I just can’t help myself. However, whenever me or any of my running friends actually do recruit a new runner, we are always very careful to not push them too hard. We always say, just start small and don’t go too hard at first. If you are not enjoying your runs, then slow down and take it easy, just come back tomorrow — but keep on going.

What I have discovered in running, is that if I “honor the pace” that a person is able to achieve at any given time and then just keep on encouraging them, eventually they will get faster and faster. More importantly, they will experience the sense of accomplishment and all the other benefits both physically and emotionally of the sport. That is what my running coach and group did for me with amazing results.

When I started running in 2005 I was very slow and 45 pound heavier than I am right now. But through a slow and steady process, I have now run many races including five 26.2 mile marathons and will hopefully run a Boston qualifying time at my next marathon coming up in Chicago on October 11/09.

But I must ask, “why is it that we don’t take the same approach to spiritual growth?” Even when God is so patient with us, why do we feel like what took years for us to “get” others must get “right now” or else we will write them off. I think we just have too short of memories of how long it took us in so many areas of our lives to develop the fruit of God in our lives.

God is at work in the lives of all His children. We are born again by the seed of the Word going into our hearts, and that seed, no matter how small will grow and eventually be a like a strong tree someday. For some, the seed is growing slower than in others, but at the end of the day, it is about God at work in others and it is “His pace” that we must honor.

I am trying now to apply this running principle in helping others in their spiritual walk.

Bert Thomson, a running enthusiast , is the the Executive Director of Every Nation Ministries and the author of  The Running Man.


  1. Great, Bert. Loved the metaphor. We’ll believe for you to get to Boston!

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