When I was a boy growing up in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, I spent most of my days running. I loved to run. My cousin and I were only two years apart in age, and we lived less than a quarter of a mile away from each other. In the summer, we would wake up, and immediately get together for a day of adventure. We were both short for our age, and smaller than most of our classmates. During the summer, we ran all over the hills of Valley Forge National Park. It was the greatest playground for two young boys. My cousin and I would race all the time from one point to another.
When I was in second grade, and he was in fourth grade, our elementary school had field day. Earl and I were both signed up for a foot race from the starting point, around the flag pole, and back to the starting point. In my memory there were at least 1,000 other kids in the race (probably closer to twenty in reality). I remember standing next to Earl, and we took off at the command. As we rounded the flag pole, we were all alone, and we finished the race in 1st and 2nd place (he won). We loved to run, and we were good at it in those days.
Today I read an interesting verse in Psalm 119. Verse 32 says, “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” There are two phrases that caught my attention in this verse that I want to speak to you about today. The first is that idea of running in the way of the commandments of God. I said that I used to love running … I don’t run anymore (unless the house is on fire). I realize that in order to run like I ran when I was a boy, you need to be in good physical shape. Out of shape people (like me today) do not run. The same is true in our Christian life. If we are out of shape spiritually, we are not going to run in the commandments like God intended us to run. I want to stay in the Word of God and run like the wind in His commandments. The second thing that caught my attention was that last phrase: when thou shalt enlarge my heart. The thought that came to me was that my heart needs to be in the right place if I want to run in the commandments of God. When we get into the Word of God, and His Word gets into us, our hearts cannot help but become filled up, and enlarged. When I am following the commandments of God, I will have a desire to help others that I would normally have missed if focused on myself. Running is fun when you are in shape, and having a heart for others is even more fun. I cannot physically run any more, but I can continue to keep myself in good spiritual shape, and I can run like the wind to help others as God touches my heart.