22
Mar

Lessons Learned from Not Running…

running

 

On the day when the Lord was handing out athletic genes, I must have been in the “facilities” because I have zero hand-to-eye coordination and a limited ability to do just about anything else requiring physical ability.  However, as a child, I was blessed with two much older brothers and in an effort to keep me from continually annoying them, they were endlessly running from me and I was endlessly chasing them.  The result:  MaryAnn, despite being vertically-challenged, was a pretty okay runner.  In fact, I’m a bit like Seabiscuit on a track.  Put a runner in front of me and I am bent on beating them.  I may not come in first, but I will probably be right behind the winner of the race.

I used to like running.  It felt like freedom to me.  But, then something good happened.  Isn’t that always the way?  The good stuff in our lives often takes away something else that is also good.  My “something good” was I had children. And guess what happened when running after I had children??? Let’s not go there. It’s not for polite conversation.  Let’s just say it was embarrassing.

So, I got lazy and only walked.  But, thanks to modern medical technology, I can now run again.  Unfortunately, someone forgot to give my 50-something body the memo.  Once you stop running, your body has this very nasty way of vehemently making you pay for ever lifting your feet off soil ever again. So, today I only briefly run…this is even more embarrassing than why I didn’t run.  Thus, I confine my poor excuse for running to my treadmill.  I think it’s safe to say that I am “running away” from “running.”  Fortunately, my Bible tells me I didn’t invent such a trait.  It’s been around for centuries:

Exhibit A:  Jacob.  When you lie to your dad, leave for a long time.  And I mean leave.

Exhibit B:  Moses.  When you kill a fellow countryman, leave for a long time and marry a foreigner.

Exhibit C:  David:  When you tick off the leader of your country, head for the nearest cave.

Exhibit D:  Jonah:  I’d hide in the belly of a fish, too, if God told me to tell an entire city to get their act together…not exactly a way to get yourself elected mayor.

Exhibit E:  Peter:  Okay. So, he didn’t run away literally.  But, would you call lying about your relationship with the savior of the world a resume-builder for founding and leading a church?

The reality is, that doing what God asks you to do, is often a dangerous, difficult, demanding task.  And what do we do? We run…and run…and run…away. It’s so human to do so.  Unfortunately, when we run away, we often miss some very important things:

1. That God is with us.  He knows where the finish line is and how happy we are going to be when we reach it.

2. That God is for us. When we stumble, He will be there with his encouragements, if we are quiet and wise enough to hear Him.

3. That God is before us.  He will point the way (even if He has to hit me “upside the head” to alert me to it).

4.  That God is beyond us.  He can see much more than our immediate and often, limited, perspective.

5.  That God is by us.  He actually takes the time to run with us and beside us, knowing that the journey is much easier with “back-up.”

So, today I’m going to try to do a little running (literally and figuratively) and hope that I can get out of that belly (and quit feeding my own…Grr.) and do a little more of what God would have me do.  How about you?

“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.  So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.”  —I Cor. 9: 24-26, NRSV

“Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.” Habakkuk 2: 2, NRSV

See you at the finish line. 🙂

Tomorrow’s Post: March Madness Poetry…c’mon, you knew it was coming!

This entry was posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 6:55 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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