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  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as Christ

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=23987 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    God Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=23991 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as Christ

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=23988 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    God Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=23990 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as Christ

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=23995 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    God Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=24004 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    God Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as

    Original URL path: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/its-been-a-good-run/?replytocom=23996 (2016-02-17)
    Open archived version from archive

  • It's Been a Good Run - Christian Speakers - CJ and Shelley Hitz
    God Eventually I wasn t even pursuing speaking engagements in order to train more consistently and not be interrupted Doors continued to open but fewer each year Over the last several years especially I ve noticed my compassion toward others decrease My heart has grown more calloused as I ve been so focused on myself and my goals I think many would agree that running can become a very selfish endeavor unless a person is constantly analyzing their motives To be a competitive runner requires extra attention to getting long runs in key speed workouts recovery runs etc Any lag in training equals a rival pulling ahead of you And this was simply unacceptable in my eyes Once I put a target on someone s back who I think I can eventually beat it becomes a compulsion A new goal or personal best becomes the object of my desire think Gollum in Lord Of The Rings I truly believe that my own version of a mid life crisis happened as I was nearing 35 years old At that time running came along and the athletic passion from my younger years was reawakened Perhaps I had also become a bit lazy in my own devotion to Christ which made me a ripe candidate for something else to take His place 7 ½ years of chasing something that filled a temporary void A short lived high I knew deep down that it was only temporary and yet I was addicted It feels good to achieve a goal It feels good to receive the praise of others It feels good to be pretty good at something But when I laid my head down on the pillow at night I thought of eternity I thought about the trajectory of my life Eternity That s a weighty word In the Bible Ecclesiastes 3 11 puts it this way Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time He has planted eternity in the human heart but even so people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end I believe every word of the Bible Call me crazy call me a nutcase but I ve put my faith trust in what Jesus said nearly 2000 years ago And because I believe it s true I believe in heaven hell since those things are mentioned numerous times But here s the problem If I believe in a literal hell where people are sent for an eternity why haven t I spent every last ounce of my energy these last 7 years sharing the greatest message planet earth has ever heard This is the message of the Gospel the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man lived among us for 33 years died a cruel death on a cross in order to pay for your sin and mine conquered the grave 3 days later by rising from the dead and now sits victorious at the right hand of the Father In other words you I don t have to spend eternity in a place called hell apart from God For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3 16 And I ve been preoccupied with a new 5k or half marathon personal best Are you kidding me Don t get me wrong I believe lots of runners are making a huge difference and perhaps an eternal impact i e Ryan Sara Hall in the lives of others I can only speak for myself when I say I haven t done a very good job I ve just been too focused on my own goals earthly dreams And regardless of whether something is looked at as good for the body it isn t always healthy for the soul Time for a change At various times over the last year I ve felt a tug on my heart to devote myself more completely to the Lord and the eternal impact He wants to make through me Each time I would pause and rationalize in my mind that I could both run competitively and give myself wholeheartedly to the Lord But it didn t happen Eventually running would dominate and continue as the idol it has become An idol is essentially anything that takes God s place in our lives It s what we worship more if we re honest As I evaluate where so much of my time talent ad best energy goes I can t deny that my running has become an idol And that s a problem You must not have any other god but me Exodus 20 3 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea You must not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods I lay the sins of the parents upon their children the entire family is affected even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands Exodus 20 4 6 Yep those are the first two commandments the Lord gave his people Though I didn t deliberately set out in my mind to break those commandments my actions demonstrated otherwise And now that I see that clearly I have a choice I can either continue down this road or I can do something the Lord calls me to do repent Repentance simply means to change one s mind for the better It means turning from a sin that has a hold of me and turning toward God and the freedom life He offers Since mid June I ve had an even greater sense of urgency and conviction come over me to lay down my competitive running in order to be 100 available for God s use You don t have to look far to see the desperate need for hope and forgiveness in the broken world we all inhabit Desperate times call for desperate measures Still my plan was to finish out the Vail La Sportiva trail running series with the last race being September 13 th And then I decided to bag the series and possibly make the Pikes Peak Marathon on August 16 th my last race granted they accept my competitive entry request But on July 17 th I felt compelled to withdraw my request and be finished altogether One of the signs I knew it was time for a break was a lack of competitive fire in my last few races Previously I would simply push and bulldoze my way forward through any obstacle even if that obstacle was God trying to get my attention Backing out of those upcoming races was not only a wise decision for my body I raced 8 times since the end of April but an even wiser decision on a spiritual level I can t describe the inner peace joy I feel after taking this step It s been over 7 years since I wasn t looking ahead at the calendar to see where I might race next And believe me I was a slave to the race calendar always one more race one more personal best one more great performance It s like a weight has been lifted I no longer need to try proving something to myself or others I m secure in Christ alone I ve been thinking a lot about 2 Chronicles 16 9 which says For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him I want to be that man I don t want to be in my 70s only to look back with regret Only to see years wasted on pursuing earthly goals records that won t live beyond the grave I want to see what happens as I surrender to Jesus everything in a fresh way at 42 years young Why not I have more energy now than when I was 30 Are you crazy There are certainly those who will question why I m pulling away from competitive running After all since I didn t take up running until my mid 30s there s reason to believe I could see continued improvement for another 4 5 years before reaching a plateau If I never run another race I m absolutely satisfied I never imagined I would achieve what I did running personal bests at age 41 42 The human body is truly capable of some amazing things as I ve witnessed Nonetheless I don t feel like I m missing out on something On the contrary I agree with what Paul said in Philippians 3 8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ Yes as much as I ate slept drank and breathed running I count it rubbish in order that I may gain Christ At this point I m not saying I ll never run another race Ultimately that s in the Lord s hands One thing I do know is that IF I ever race again it will go from 25 races a year to maybe 1 3 races For now I need to take a long sabbatical from the intense training I ve maintained the last several years I have to starve myself from competition to the point that I no longer crave it every minute In short the chains need to be broken I still plan to enjoy running for exercise and to keep my weight down But I ll also enjoy hiking a 14er with Shelley or getting a workout at our gym You might also see me volunteer at some local races My best energies that I previously poured into being the best possible athlete I could be will now be devoted to the following Partnering with Shelley and being available in ways I haven t been these past 7 years Praying fasting in order to hear more clearly from God I had zero desire to practice fasting while running high mileage consequently I know I missed out on a tremendous blessing Studying the Bible to know God more deeply rather than scouring running books websites for hours on end searching for one more running secret Preaching teaching in schools churches retreats in order to encourage equip Christians to be bold in sharing the good news of Jesus Writing as the Lord lays new things on my heart books devotions blog posts etc Sharing the Gospel 1 on 1 and reaching people for Christ Helping to equip our local church body Calvary Worship Center through prayer bible study preaching teaching giving receiving encouragement In Conclusion If you re still with me thanks for hanging in there on this longer than normal post I want to close with a couple quotes by one of my favorite authors speakers John Piper in his book A Hunger For God Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship not just evil and not just food but anything Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of His most precious gifts If you don t feel strong desires for the glory of God it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great God did not create you for this There is an appetite for God And it can be awakened Please don t hesitate to get in touch with me if you d like to meet in person or communicate by phone email cj cjhitz com or Facebook Or perhaps a leisurely trail run If I can help you draw closer to Jesus I consider it a privilege For now it s been a good run but I m excited for new adventures Your friend CJ Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come 1 Timothy 4 8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their INCREDIBLE belief and support of my running the past couple years Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs shoes gear racing kits www facebook com BoulderRunningCompanyColoradoSprings Garden Of Life high quality nutrition like vitamins supplements protein powder fruit bars www GardenOfLife com BeetElite beet juice for both performance recovery www NeogenisSport com Freedom Chiropractic weekly adjustments to help keep my body sharp www FreedomChiro com Filed Under cjhitz Comments Laura says July 21 2015 at 7 27 pm CJ it is so touching to see you bare your heart We have just returned to CWC ourselves and are looking forward to reconnecting with you and Shelly Here s to your great adventure Laura Rob Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 28 am Thanks Laura it took some work in my heart before I was ready to take this step Awesome to hear you Rob are back at CWC Will definitely have to get together sometime Reply Sherie Smith says July 21 2015 at 10 11 pm CJ bless you and Shelley on this life changing decision and on your new journey Even in the noisiest clammer of the world we can still hear God s softest whisper if we just listen I know this cannot have been an easy decision but I m so excited to see what greatness lies ahead for you I know it will be truly amazing Sherie Smith Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 26 am Sherie thanks so much the Lord has been so good to us I did labor over this decision for quite awhile before finally just surrendering all of it Ahh what peace was waiting for me on the other end Reply Francois Heppell says July 21 2015 at 10 13 pm Long speech like a long run its beautiful to see such dedication for God Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 23 am Thanks Francois ha Yep this was definitely a long run of a post Look for more speed workouts in the future Reply Bruce Boguski says July 22 2015 at 12 23 am Awesome CJ I would like to talk to you will call ya soon Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 22 am Sounds great Bruce I look forward to it Hope you and the Mrs are enjoying life as newlyweds Reply Tanya Conley says July 22 2015 at 2 01 am I really made a connection with both of you through this article I have been on both sides where I have been the one obsessed with my training and I have also been the one wanting more from a spouse that has a mistress in another hobby I think anything can become more of an obsession when you pull away from God instead of use it to draw closer to God Of course I have used the excuse that I pray and talk with God during runs and sometimes listen to Bible or other religious pieces on the trail All that is good but if you don t apply that in actions of evangelism then you are missing an important part Life needs to be more balanced and the big shift should always be toward God and what His plan is for us I am so happy God has taken you through this journey Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 2 20 am Amen Tanya Thanks for the words of encouragement I m so thankful for the Lord s patience in my life Reply Jamie Nygaard says July 22 2015 at 2 57 am CJ I totally needed to read this as I didn t start getting into running until I was 33 I am now 38 but already see how quickly I get focused on the ME selfish part of running I do love to run as being a mother of 4 children it gives me my solitude and my quiet times with my Heavenly Father but I struggle to have a relaxing run because I HAVE to know what my time was because I am always needing to improve Just today I forced myself to not take my GPS with me I ran and prayed the entire time Best therapy for a busy mom like me Also gotta mention I m from Bluffton and YFC had always been a big part of my life Paul Misserlian was a special man to me and my entire family So glad to know you got to know him too He was a special dude Thanks for sharing what you ve learned and most importantly thanks for reminding us WHOM we need to make our priority of our day EVERY DAY Our Heavenly Father Reply cjhitz says July 22 2015 at 12 58 pm Jamie thanks so much for sharing Sounds like you got started with running at near the same time in life Running has so many wonderful benefits and is a gift from God Unfortunately for me I ended up worshiping the gift more than the Giver Hence putting things in their proper place Paul M was a great man who the Lord used mightily in so many lives I m grateful I had the opportunity to learn from him Reply Tiffany says July 22 2015 at 3 51 am Great reminder of our priorities as

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