I am a former legalist and recovering hypocrite who spent way too much of my life trying to find self-worth in the approval of others. I was a friendly workaholic who was secretly judgmental of everyone else while subconsciously overcompensating for my own insecurities.
In hindsight, my ability to spot the speck in my neighbor’s eye while ignoring the giant plank in my own made me nothing more than a delusional phony (Matt 7:3-5). Worse of all, in my efforts to prove myself by being everything to everyone, I neglected those who should have mattered most…my family. It was during this time that I learned how weak I truly was. In a season of selfish temptation, my wife and kids were neither on my mind nor close to my heart where they belonged. I fell hard! I’m talking the kind of fall where former friends act like they don’t see you in public. The year was 2010, and I had lost my career, my reputation, my freedom, and almost lost my family.
“You never know God is all you need until God is all you have.” -Rick Warren
I had hit rock bottom. All I could do was repent and hope that God still wanted me. He did. The Lord led me and my family to a group of grace-filled believers who not only accepted us with open arms, but then used those arms to pick us back up.
One of my new best friends and a brother in Christ introduced me to my first OCR event. I instantly recognized that this is more than mud; it’s a movement that manifests many of the very principles that have been imperative to my recovery. No, OCR is not a substitute for faith nor do all of its participants welcome my associating the two. Nevertheless, I get an extra boost of encouragement every time I encounter a fellow Christian on the course or when I get to tell other competitors about He who gives me strength (Phil 4:13).
I ran my first race at the end of 2015. Now, with two Savage Races, one BattleFrog, and a Spartan Trifecta under my belt along with multiple races scheduled for 2017, I am evangelical about this phenomenon that is OCR.
(John can be heard on Hot 107.3 FM in Sherman, TX, playing contemporary Christian music on his weekly show, Faith in Tune!)
Contact Coley about The Mud Movement, OCR, faith, or whatever is on your mind using the form below.