Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.”
I ran this morning. I’ve been running, at God’s request, for a couple of weeks now. It’s painful.
At the beginning of this year, I read “Made To Crave” as part of an online study with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I was transformed by what I learned. After the study was over, I went through most of it a second time with a fabulous group of friends from my church. For the last 4 months of my life, I’ve been plugging along, but I hit a wall. I’m going through the motions, but nothing’s changed. That’s when I felt God nudging me to start running again. I wrestled with it for weeks, and finally decided to obediently follow His urging on this.
When I began running, I immediately employed all of my old ways and found that they do not work. I loved to listen to my iPod and get lost in the music as I move, and run on the treadmill. The entire time I run, I am secretly hating it and fighting a huge mental war in my head to keep my body moving forward. I used to love to run, and have no idea how to get back there again. That’s when God stepped in with answers.
He has prompted me to leave all equipment behind – no cell phone or iPod, no heart rate monitors, no pedometers – nothing but me and sneakers (no vibrams) and even the sneakers are not to be fussed over. No treadmill — it’s all to be done outdoors, in nature, in the elements — the way it was meant to be. It’s truly not about the equipment at all this time – it’s about letting Him re-teach me how to run. And I can feel deep within me, that He’s telling me that the time has come to do this, and that it’s the answer to the next phase of my health and weight journey.
So I get out of the car this morning, and start to run.
As I am running up my first hill, my body is screaming at me. My knees hurt, my legs are still sore from Monday and my brain is yelling to stop. In my anguish, I lifted up a prayer to God, “Lord, can’t I just skip this and go home and clean my house?”
His response still makes me laugh! Loud and clear, I heard the booming answer “You need to clean my Temple!”
I think I actually laughed out loud when I heard it! And of course, I ran. And as I was running, I wasn’t feeling entirely great. God also gave me some more advice at that moment… “See? What you eat matters! It REALLY matters!” In that moment I realized that it’s not just about getting checks in the blocks each day for carbs and protein and stuff — it’s about freshness, quality and minimal processing. Processing gunks up our engines. So I asked God to help me as I grocery shop today — help me to spend more time in the produce isle and give me fresh ideas for adding more healthy fresh foods to our diet every day.
Welcome to Phase 2 of my Made To Crave journey.
In Phase 1, I was reading and learning and applying what I was learning. I was learning about what it means to prioritize your health because it’s His command to care for our bodies. I was learning what it means to be faithful in exercise — going and doing it all the time, whether I felt like it or not. I was learning to notice when I comforted myself with food instead of Him, and to unpack that baggage. I was learning as I was going through my days what foods are my friends, and what foods are liars. (Liars as in they make me feel wonderful for about 30 seconds and then I feel horrible from the sugar crash and subsequent guilt that follows.)
Phase 2 is one-on-one training with God Himself.
He makes the work-out dates and tells me what to bring, where to go and how far to run. I show up and do it. I complain, He tells me to stay focused.
Today as I was running up a hill, with several more hills in front of me, I was complaining. He reminded me that I do not need to worry about the hills AFTER this hill — they will take care of themselves. Focus right now, right here, on putting one foot in front of the other and get up THIS hill. He reminded me that, in this moment, I have everything I need to get up this hill, if I stay focused on THIS MOMENT.
It was then that I realized how much of my energy is spent leaning out into the future and worrying about what is to come. I am RARELY in the moment. I am rarely present in the present. I know this about myself, but I didn’t realize how bad it really was. I covered this problem with words like “planning” and “research” and “preparing“, when all I have really been doing is worrying…which He has shown me is a complete waste of my energy…and more importantly, it robs me of what I need right here and now to do what I need to do.
I heard someone call this Zen…being present and in-the-moment. This grasshopper has much to learn.
Lord, I thank You so much that You care about my health and my life and the quality of my days, that You’d take the time to nudge and whisper to me such important truths. Only You can tell me what I need to hear the most, and You do it with love and honesty. I am in awe of Your works, Your faithful presence, Your steadfast love! Nudge me when I need it and please don’t stop, for I long that my ways be Your ways. Apart from You, nothing good comes … and I am happy to be on this journey with You! Please nudge my friends, too, in ways they recognize and understand, so that they, too, can experience Your love and greatness in their lives! In Jesus’ name…Amen.