Sunday, April 15, 2012

Psalm 119 - Daleth

 ד Daleth
 25 I am laid low in the dust;
   preserve my life according to your word.
26 I recounted my ways and you answered me;
   teach me your decrees.
27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts;
   then I will meditate on your wonders.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
   strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
   be gracious to me through your law.
30 I have chosen the way of truth;
   I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD;
   do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
   for you have set my heart free.

NIV 1984

This psalm resonates with my frailty and helplessness.  Every day, I face pain and the reality of my health.  I am laid low with the humbling fact that I am not invincible, at least not on my own. 

I always seem to come back to this psalm whenever I've hit a low and I have trouble turning back to God. 

I came back from my first visit with the foot doctor and got news that not only was my foot broken again, but I'd be unable to run the remainder of the spring.  Again, something that I loved was taken away from me.  I remember being very upset that night and wondering aloud to God why He had done this to me again.

Over the next several days, as I was forced to explain the foot cast back on my foot, I had many people tell me that maybe there was a reason for this.  One person in particular bluntly said that God was doing this intentionally to give me a message, even if neither of us knew what that message was.

Maybe that's the hardest part of this for me: I still don't know why.  "Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders." I am laid low.  Have I not recounted my ways?  Is that why this understanding is still escaping me?

However I get there, I know I can only literally run again, when I run in the path of His commands.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Broken Again

For the second time, I've broken my foot from running. For someone who is constantly moving, I'm only allowed to swim right now (I swam this morning for the first time in YEARS). In six weeks, I can start cycling.  In 10 weeks, I might be able to start running.  Not training, but I'll be allowed to start lacing up and hitting a trail as long as I actually take it easy.

At this second break, I've heard from multiple people in multiple ways, "Don't you think God is trying to tell you something here?"

That was my thought that first night after seeing the doctor, reading the clear-as-day x-ray for myself.  I was angry and pretty upset that He'd take this away from me - again.  But I kept hearing it.  Okay, if there was a reason behind this, why then?  What is He trying to say?

I knew some reasons.  I haven't found a church home yet, and I've been struggling to find and commit to a church community.  I've been lackadaisical in my Bible reading.  Generally, it's like I just don't know what to say to Him.  It's as if I'm deaf.  I can see Him all around me, and He's especially visible to me on a quiet trail, but I can't hear anything He's saying to me.  I strain my ears for a hint of His voice, but nothing.

After a nice evening with long-lost and newly found friends, I might even think that there's more to it than even that. First, you should know that they're all amazing people and Christians.  Some had recently come back from long term missions work in Haiti, some were headed that way, and all were just a little nerdy (my kind of people).  This fellowship has been sorely missed and lacking in my life of late. 

Myself and my running have the focus of my life for so long, I almost don't know how to function without the time spent on the trail.  But I think I'm finally edging past the idea that running is always about longer, faster, harder.  I want to improve, yes, but even more so, I want to sustain this active lifestyle.  I want to find people to share this with.  It's not sustainable to be so constantly driven towards this goal of 'improving' to the exclusion of the rest of my life.  I think now I'm finally realizing not only do I need to find a balance physically so I don't keep getting injured, I need to find that balance in the other parts of my life.  I don't want to admit it, but maybe running has been what's been keeping me from finding a community.

"It's not about doing the things you love, it's about doing things with the ones you love."