I used to love to run. I loved the feeling of freedom as I ran and the sense that I was doing something good for my body. I hadn’t run in a long time and watching runners go by the house or the office made me long to run again…to be one of them. Also, they say that running is one of the best ways to lose weight. So I decided it was time. I found a walk/run program that trains you to go from walking to running 30 minutes in 30 days and prepared myself to start. I would run on a path near my house made of cork – a good place to start my adventure.
Last Monday I was up at 5am, strapped on my mp3 player, leashed the dog, and we were off. It went really well and I felt great when I got home.
Tuesday was a strength training day.
Wednesday we were back on course. Again I felt great when we got done. I was so excited! I was on my way to being a RUNNER!!
By Wednesday night I felt a little differently. My joints were aching and even additional stretching didn’t seem to help. Thursday morning it was hard to get out of bed because of the stiffness and pains. A little anti-inflammatory and I was on my way but rethinking my future as a runner. Perhaps running isn’t the best thing for my body. Maybe I should walk instead.
But I want to be a RUNNER!!
Why do I want to be a runner? Is it because I think it’s the best thing for me or do I have some kind of idea that runners are better people than me and are in some kind of elite club that I want to be a part of? Do I need to get “over myself” to do what’s best for me instead of potentially doing my body harm? Is my stubbornness actually hurting me?
Sometimes I find myself getting hung up over things that seem so important at the time. But do these things really matter in the grand scheme of life? And the bigger question – do they matter to God?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
It can be very difficult for us to live in a world where performance is valued so highly and we are constantly fed with messages of what we need to do in order to ‘fit in’. We are prodded to own the latest electronic gadget, rub shoulders with the right people and keep up on the newest forms of entertainment. Seeking out God’s purposes for us can be a big challenge. Holding fast to those purposes & promises is an even bigger challenge. Sometimes things don’t happen as quickly as we think they ought to and we aren’t always rewarded in the way we would like. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t there or that He’s not listening to us.
The last verse in the Jeremiah passage above gives us a requirement for finding God and His purposes for us. We must seek Him with ALL our hearts. For me this means letting go of ideas I’m holding onto about how I want a situation to turn out or being worried about what others think about me. Sometimes it means letting go of my heart’s desires when God reveals to me they are not His desires for me. It requires me to not be stubborn and not be selfish, but believe that His will is greater than mine, even when I don’t understand.
What areas of your life are you holding too tightly when perhaps they don’t matter as much as you think they do? I encourage you to release them to God and seek Him with your whole heart. Then accept what He reveals to you and move ahead with Him.
As for my fitness challenge, maybe some day I will run but for this morning Lucy and I are on our way to try race walking. I may be able to eventually achieve the speed of jogging without the high impact and unhappy joints. Sure I might look funny but what does it matter?
Blessings and peace to you all!