Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lessons (not) learned

I wish I could say I've found something really profound to share. I guess the profound thing is the lack of profoundness? Um, let me explain that one.

As I have found myself more physically able to pick up my insane schedule again, I have found myself focusing less and less on God, less intentional about devotions. And what have I learned? Nothing! That's my point exactly.

When we take away our focus from the one who we should be glorifying, we often end up glorifying ourselves instead. And we know how that ends up: it's like building our foundation on sand instead of the bedrock it should be on. It only takes one little event to knock everything you've carefully–but foolishly–constructed to come tumbling down.

I confess to having been extremely consumed with running lately. I would intentionally use it as a time of worship, but I admit I've been distracted on my runs. My goal with running has always been as something that is part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle, sort of like a healthy prescription (runners know it can totally be like a drug, and addicting!). I wanted to be running and training in a way I could keep up my whole life. Have I always achieved that goal? Not so much. This time around, I thought it would be BRILLIANT of me to change up my stride two weeks before a race (despite frequent advice from my =PR= Running coach to never try anything new right before a race). I was faster, it felt more comfortable...right up until I couldn't walk. Race day, instead of it being a glorious debut, I was in pain the entire time. The heart was AWESOME, and stayed in a comfortable zone the entire 10-miler. Instead, I literally limped along for 10 miles at a 12:24 pace - a minute behind my last long run.

If I were to look at this with a me-perspective, I am tempted to be disappointed and frustrated. But I am determined to keep this race in perspective with all that God has blessed me with, especially over the past 5 months. It's amazing (and quite humbling) that 5 months after open-heart surgery I race 10 miles, even more so that the trouble that bothers me race day isn't the heart, but a stupid left hip I injured due to my pride. It's also promising.. which I think is a weird word to use considering I'm injured and my 'short-term' outlook isn't sunny. But it's promising in the sense that He's given me a big, healthy heart and the ability to run again.

It really is a GIFT to be running again, and the only one who can take that away is me - through trying to run on my own, and not by His grace.

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1

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