Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: The Runner's Devotional

Discipline is required of runners.  I am not a runner, but I thought this book, The Runner's Devotional:  Inspiration and Motivation for Life's Journey . . . On and Off the Road,  would encourage me to begin running.  I've since realized that I'm just too tired to run and I'll have to wait until little Abby is a bit older before I attempt to run.  In the meantime I will continue to walk, cycle and occasionally swim.

This devotional book ties together the spiritual analogy of preparing for life's race with the physical training required to become a disciplined runner.  It emphasizes setting goals and developing self-control to adhere to these goals.  Each weekly chapter offers a spiritual thought tied with the running theme followed by an experience shared by a runner.  The "Think it Through" section encourages the reader to reflect on some personal questions.  An "On Running" tip that offers practical physical advice on diet or training.  The week's journey ends with a journal section and a running log.  I personally prefer a devotional that divvies up a portion per day, but authors, Dana Niesluchowski and Dave Veerman, note that the chapters can be read in one setting or divided up over a week.  Also note the amount of space provided for the running log varies by chapter, but certain chapters seem a bit skimpy.

This devotional is definitely inspiring, but is not an in-depth Bible study.  There is a heavy emphasis on increasing your physical stamina in addition to boosting your personal self-confidence.  I think you could probably give it to friends and family members who consider themselves to be a Christian without them being offended.   I found the personal stories shared by dozens of runners humorous, motivating, and at times sad.  The devotional ends with a scripture index and a then comprehensive training plans for runners wanting to tackle 5ks up to marathon.

While reading this devotional, I came across the Principle of Disuse (see page 320).  This states:  "If you stop training, your state of fitness will drop to a level that meets only the demands of daily use."  Amazing how this applies to our spiritual state of "fitness" also. If we stop exercising our faith and if we skip studying the Word, our spiritual fitness is affected.  When we're called to run God's race, we fall short because we weren't spending the necessary time training daily.  

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.  I Timothy 4:8

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book to me.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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