I’m a runner. Ok, so that’s not entirely true. I’m trying to be a runner. I’m in the beginning stages. I’ve made a public claim that I will run a 5k by next Thanksgiving and my family has responded by giving me shoes and the nike+ipod kit for Christmas. I’m taking it slow. I’m using the Couch to 5K plan and I think it will be a great work out for me.

In fact, I really enjoy it. Today, I was jogging along at a good clip and really feeling good. The crisp winter air felt clean and uplifting in my lungs. The sunshine and empty track was beautiful and peaceful. There, in my new Nike shoes, my ipod, and my sweatsuit, I felt like a runner. I could imagine myself as anyone of those other runners; the kind that run marathons and races. Then I glanced at my shadow.

In my shadow I saw a fat, middle aged man jogging in a way that only fat, middle aged men can jog. Head down, hands close to his body, trudging along with slow little steps. There was a great difference between how I might imagine myself and how I probably actually look to the world around me.

That got me thinking (thinking theologically is better than thinking about the fact that my calves hurt and I was getting really short of breath). I wondered, how different is my own imagining of my spiritual life and reality? I’m guessing that its far uglier than I imagine. I’m sure that when I see myself fighting the good fight and running the good race strong and proud, I’m probably trudging along in a way that would be comical if it weren’t so pathetic.

Then I wondered, how does God see me? Surely God can see how pathetic I am better than anyone. I am sure that no matter how many faults others can find in me, God could find a million more. So what do I look like to Him? The ugliness is a shuddering thought, except for one thing. By the grace of God, when He sees me, He sees Christ. The righteousness of Christ imputed to me means that God sees me as better than I ever imagined myself to be. And that’s a thought that makes me want to keep running.