I’ve been a runner on and off throughout my life. Mostly due to the heavy fatigue from window cleaning, the last three years it has been “off.”
So when I wanted to restart, I knew it was going to be slow. Much slower than I wanted. The Runner’s World plan I found said to start by walking for a month, then start a run-walk combination until eventually you were running more than walking. Sounds simple, right?
Those of you who are runners know that when you haven’t run in a while, restarting can be tough. You can be running fine one minute and have shin splints or muscle aches the next. That means you have to be ready to adjust. You have a few choices:
- Slow your running pace.
- Stop and stretch until you can go again.
It’s so similar really to our life with the Lord!
There are times in your life with the Lord that you are running. You’re flying with so much momentum. You’re sky-high and nothing can stop you. If you could just live on this mountain top forever….
Photo credit: 10-walls.com
Suddenly you are forced to slow down. It might be because you’re short of breath, you’re overloaded. Just like we get overloaded with doing so much (even in serving Him!). There’s intention in Him slowing you down. Maybe you need to not do as much.
Walking is our second choice as runners. It’s not what we want to do. It takes that much longer to finish, we think. We’re frustrated. Disgusted. “I’ll never get anywhere like this!” But there’s reason in it. Walking enables us to refresh ourselves. Take it a little more slowly, not even run for the moment. See some details you have been missing or learn some things you didn’t know.
Photo credit: lisakutzing.com
Stopping is the worst of all. It feels like admitting defeat. Whether you have a side ache or an untied shoe lace, it breaks your rhythm. When God has us remain perfectly still, we’re not doing nothing, but that’s how it feels. So we struggle, mutter, fuss about, try to get going again in our own strength. We sometimes miss the idea that we can be stopped and still completely facing the direction we need to go to finish. Still in His hands. Still under His guidance.
Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Isa. 40:27-31 ESV; boldface mine*
(Though the Lord was speaking to Israel, this is an excellent reminder for us, too.)