Thursday, October 6, 2011

There comes a time…


In any endeavor that stretches us beyond the boundaries of our own imagined strength, there comes a time when we suddenly realize our dependence on what we do not control.  And we make the tragic mistake of either looking back or looking down or quitting altogether because the uphill was, well, a little more uphill than we thought it would be. “What was I thinking?” 

Passion and adventure are hard-wired within all of us.  But complacency is an idol that binds our feet and repeats over and over “you can’t do that,” until we not only believe it, we stake our lives on our fears.  We become disabled souls, paralyzed by a maligned self-diagnosis.

On almost a daily basis, I hear people say, “I could never do that,”  about something good that might stretch them just a little bit.  Our reluctance gives birth to a million excuses.  “It will be hard, it will hurt, I will probably fail,” we whine.  And the lies we believe keep us in a place where we choose to do nothing at all, held hostage in our own windowless temperature-controlled comfort zone.

Are we so afraid of being dependent on God?  Of what amazing things He can do with our lives, if we let Him?  As my friend John Bryson says, “What am I doing that if God was not in it, I would fail?” 

I contemplate these thoughts on the eve of the Chicago marathon, coming up now in three short days.  It is a rigorous physical endeavor, that is to be sure, but for me, it has become a different kind of exercise, a stepping out and trusting God to move me beyond the limitations of my own wisdom and strength to a scary place where I finally acknowledge my dependence on Him.   Over the 18 weeks of marathon training in heat, rain, and the daunting fragility of old age, sometimes slogging  along by myself and sometimes eating the dust of those much younger and faster than I am, I have both thought and verbalized, “Why am I doing this?”  And I sense God replying, “Trust Me.  Let Me use this in your life.”  There is meaning.  There is purpose.  The marathon is not an end in itself and, indeed, may not be about running at all.  But perhaps, it is just getting out the door for what lies ahead.


Therefore, since we are surrounded

by so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us also lay aside every weight,

and sin that clings to closely,

and let us run with perseverance

the race that is set before us,

         looking to Jesus…

                         Hebrews 12.1-2

1 comment:

Marcus Goodyear said...

Wait. You ran in the Chicago Marathon?! I'm impressed.