Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Run (Or Really, I Die)


As my white and silver tennis shoes continually hit the pavement, the hill continually seems endless.  The heaviness in my legs reveals that I'm about two-thirds done with my mile run (or more like easy jog).

Even though I am well over half-way, only one thought remains: Stop.

All I want to do is give up.  Why am I still running?  There's no one chasing me, for Pete's sake! 

My ambition to get back in shape and the reality that I'll be running a 5K in less than a week have evaporated as my thought morphs even further: I am going to die. 

I somehow manage to run every step of that mile and finish it out.  As I re-enter my house, all I can do is be thankful that it's over. I honestly wonder if I can ever bring myself to run again.

As the hours grow between me and the almost traumatic run,  I find myself laying on the couch, staring at bookshelves.  I have shut the door between me and my growing mental to-do list for almost a month.  (For the record, I do not recommend ignoring life. It's not going away).  The very strength to get my self off that couch and do one of the many things I (pressingly) need to do seems legitimately beyond me.

So I sit.  I stare.  I watch some more episodes on Netflix.  As another day slips by, I let my room grow into a mess which mirrors the mess behind the door in my mind I've chosen to ignore.

I cannot help but wonder where has our strength gone in moments like these? in not only the physical runs, but in the times when fight, determination, and sheer grit and self-will are necessary in everyday life?

Life can seem to be like smooth sailing one minute and like all hell has broken loose the next.  We can feel invincible one moment and like Rue facing Cato the next when all Rue wants to do is go climb a tree and hide from her problems.

The truth of this whole phenomena is becoming more clear: In life, we inevitably are going to be running.   
Our choice is where we are running to.

Are we running to surrender or to refusal?

Are we surrendering ourselves to the will of the One who made the Universe, or are we stubbornly refusing to give in to the One who gave His life for us?

We only are capable of running in one direction.  It's our choice which direction to go.

Yet, beyond the choice in itself, the rest necessary for surrender is provided in Him.  All we gotta do is decide to run to Him, muscle up that strength while asking for His help, and trust Him with the rest of ourselves - our weakness, our lack of determination, our failing endurance.

For when we are weak, then we are strong:

"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' And most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NASB).

We can refuse to surrender, or surrender our refusal and let God be God in our lives.

He will give us all the strength we need.
© 2014 Deborah Hope Shining

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