Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fall Lessons

Today I ran 4 miles. I have a confession to make. I have been very inconsistent with my running since my last race. I had weeks when I would get back on track and then I would fall off again when life got busy and I was tired in the morning, the cycle has continued for months. But the past couple weeks I have been consistent. I think moving and finally settling into a place where I feel home helps. And so today I made it 4 miles. I have written many sermons and lessons while running. It's when my mind wanders and is free to just flow. I am now living close to a big park that has a number of different trails that cross through the park and eventually end at a small bay. I have been picking random trails and just following them until I end up at the water and then I turn around and head back into the city. It has been a nice pattern. And then today I chose the trail of memories. You know these trails. I had walked this one before, with someone else and I ran passed the spots where special memories took place. But like life those memories that use to bring joy now bring pain. And as I rounded a corner coming out of the trees to the water I was blasted with a cold misty wind that reminded me- winter is soon around the corner. Turning my run into an example of life...

This Fall has been hard. Each week seems to bring moments where just breathing becomes an accomplishment. Personal pain has surged through my life. Busyness of cafe work has built up and created extra stress. And some days it feels like all I can do is just hold on. Just make it through the day accomplishing all of the tasks on the to-do list. But it is in those moments when we learn why we do what we do and where God is. Like my run this morning, I could choose to collapse in pain when I see the hard memories or I can continue down the trail one foot after another. Or when I turn the corner and face a blast of cold air I can let it push me back into hiding or I can continue on- one foot in front of the other. Whenever we are challenged in our life and ministry we have a choice. Do we let it knock us down or do we continue on, one foot in front of the other. Each trusting step guiding us forever forward and closer to the goal. But, we will never be able to continue if we don't know why we are running, why we are doing what we are doing. When life gets busy it becomes so easy to just go through the motions, accomplishing the tasks we have to and remembering to breathe, but we can not let ourselves get caught up in these situations because life is meant to be so much more than just going through the motions, just trying to survive.

Life is meant to be lived and it can only be lived fully if we are completely in the center of God’s will. The only way we can continue forward is when we know for certain what God is asking us to do. There have been a couple moments the past 2 months where I have seriously contemplated my call. Why am I in Denmark, working in a café? Why do I live without the regular safety nets that most people in their 30s have established? And why do I continue to walk this road alone? And as always my answer is, because God said so 3 years ago and He hasn’t changed the call on me yet, so I must continue to be faithful. Sometimes that faithfulness is easier then other times. When life is flowing smoothly, the run is on even ground and the knees don't have pain, its easy to remember to be faithful. But, then there are those moments when you feel forced to choose between something you love and the call God has made so clear to you. The moments where the pain of loss almost makes you consider abandoning your call. And that is when you have to just continue one foot in front of the other fighting the wind and pushing forward. And that is what God has challenged me with the past few months. Did I really mean what I said when I stood on a mountaintop overlooking an African valley or sitting in an office after a Sunday night mission service. Those big moments in my life where I said- ok God, I don't know what is going to happen, I don't know what you are doing, but I will go, one foot in front of the other I will choose You and the call you have placed in my life. And once again this Fall I have been challenged to say, God I don't know what You are doing, and I don't understand, but I will continue to work because that is what you have asked of me.

And so through the stress, busyness, and pain of life I have been reminded that it’s not about what is easiest or feels good, it is about continuing to remain faithful even when I don't see how God is working. And even though I don't know when the trail ends or even when it will become easier, I must continue on one foot in front of the other and build my strength in Christ, one mile after another.

1 comment:

  1. Prayers that you can keep the pain and pressures of life in balance with the peace and joy God longs for you to have.