This has been good for me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's especially helped me realize that I can be disciplined and work towards achieving goals. There are times that I want to quit, or not get up early and run, but I keep going. I often ask myself "why am I doing this to myself?" I always figure out an answer to keep myself motivated, or I just decide to go run no matter what and force myself to run. Those runs are hard to start, but fun to finish. I especially like the feeling I get from my long runs because I accomplish something I didn't think was possible, and often it's before breakfast!
I hope to gain momentum from the discipline of running and develop discipline in other areas like prayer, bible study, blogging, and music. The point of developing spiritual disciplines: constant communion with God. Like Jesus' words in John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can't do anything." I want my life to bear good fruit that comes from God. I want God to work through me. I can't expect that without abiding in Him and keeping constant communion.
Keeping the bigger goal of the marathon in mind, motivates my running. I have to run. Maybe as a Christian, I can keep a bigger goal in mind to motivate my spiritual disciplines so that I have to keep constant communion. What would that goal be? Paul talks of a heavenly prize. Jesus mentions storing up treasures in heaven. I like the John 15 passage talking about bearing fruit. The goal is seeing more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control in the lives of people around me: my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, church-attenders, enemies, etc. So that more people know and attain the heavenly prize.
It's hard to put that goal into words and make it tangible--maybe that's why spiritual disciplines can be difficult, but constant communion is worth it.