Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Running: Learning a Thing or Two

I haven't always been a runner. The only real reason I call myself a runner is because I have successfully completed two half marathons, a few 10Ks, and well over a few 5Ks. Running races makes it official - I'm a runner. Not the fastest, but slow and steady always wins the race, right?

Back to the point. I haven't always been a runner, but it has become one of my favorite things to do. It's a love/hate relationship in which I hate it while the activity is unfolding, but I love it when it's over and there's a sense of accomplishment. I love nothing more than getting up and running first thing in the morning, especially when the air is crisp. It makes my heart beat a little faster.. the pace a little more steady.. and the run a little longer.

I never really understood how people would go on and on about clearing their mind when they run. It used to be for me something like this: "When am I going to get done?" or "Not another hill?" or "I'm dyyiinnngggg!" Yep, true story. And most often than not these questions pop into my mind on a frequent basis. However, I do love those days when I'm able to run and run and clear my mind, like the pros say. But my clearing of the mind looks a little differently. I am thankful for those runs where I can pray and think through prayers for those who mean the most to me. I am thankful for the quiet moments of an early morning where I can think on Scripture and the Spirit leads me to praise the Lord for His beautiful creation. I am thankful for the runs where I can see the beautiful sun rise up for the day. It is on these runs where I come to a greater realization of God's greatness and my smallness.

Sunday morning was no different. I nearly sprang out of the bed and put on the running shoes. Out the door I went. The Lord is so good and patient with me. Much of me is a perfectionist. I'm certain that is fairly evident by now. However, I was praying that morning through what perfectionism looks like to me. Much of that is that I want to study His Word more. I want to know the scriptures better. I want to memorize this verse or that one. All of which led me to realize that I want a perfect faith. I desire to be a perfect follower of Christ. I want to do it all correctly and get a gold star at the end of it all. Yet, our Lord is gentle and showed me the error of my ways, just as I was turning the corner of the end of the complex. How could I desire such a perfect faith? I'm thinking that's exactly what I am supposed to do, and on some level it is. However, my desire for a perfect faith centers on me. It centers on my obtaining a righteousness all my own. It focuses on perfecting myself rather than being perfected by Christ. My desire for a perfect faith is little reliance on Christ. The Lord showed me that my walk of faith does not have to be perfect, but it does need to be obedient. Being obedient means, I'm following after someone. It means I'm submitting to an authority that is greater than myself.

I don't want to be walking by sight. I want to be walking by faith. Imperfectly and dependent.

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