I’m just gonna say it.
I HATE RUNNING.
I want to like it, I really do. I want to be one of those people who makes it look effortless, like a gazelle gliding along the ground, barely grazing the landscape.
But I have nightmares about running, where my legs seem to be filled with cement and I can’t make myself go any faster than a sleepy sloth.
When I wake, those dreams aren’t far from true.
So what do I do when running doesn’t work for me?
I find myself just standing there looking at the path ahead and choosing to walk instead.
Interestingly enough, while my body detests running, my brain thrives on it.
As in, running ahead. Every. Single. Day.
I want to get to the next thing. To know what’s ahead and get there as fast as possible.
Answers. I want answers and I want them now.
None of this standing around and waiting stuff.
Right now in my life, there are hazy images of the future which include things I would really like to get, do, pursue with and for my family.
Good, good stuff.
I really like my ideas for the road ahead. I tend to think I should let God in on the fact that these endeavors are the way to go.
As if I have dreams He’s never even thought of.
So I pray.
But praying doesn’t slow me down.
I can pray and run ahead at the same time.
Not very successfully, I might add.
I trip over the words of my prayers as I trip over the roadblocks that are in the way of my great intentions for the future. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m flailing blindly toward what I want.
Answers. My answers.
Now, if my body were running (chuckle) and I kept tripping over the terrain, I would have the common sense to stop and consider that I might need to go another way. Or just stop, period, when I realize I’m not really getting anywhere.
But when my mind runs ahead, it doesn’t seem to care if it bloodies itself on the obvious deterrents. It just keeps pushing through, regardless of the futility of it all.
My foolish, persistent, bull-headed mind.
The whole “running in my dreams” scenario. Furiously running and going nowhere.
You’d think I would learn.
Sometimes I hear Jesus in the background, calling, “Come back! I’m right here. You don’t know where you’re going. You can’t see that far ahead. But I can.”
Everything in me wants to do what He says and just rest in that fact.
I want to stop running ahead.
Instead, I find myself saying, “Yeah, but…”, as if I have any rational argument for what He’s just said.
This morning, He used a different tactic.
I opened my bible, planning on reading in John.
But when this beautiful book fell open, it was nowhere close to John.
It was Psalm 28. And the first words my eyes fell on were in verse 14:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
I don’t think Jesus could have been much clearer with me.
So many things hit me in these few words:
1. “Wait for the LORD.” Wait, don’t run. WAIT FOR HIM, NOT FOR THE ANSWERS. Whoa. In my face.
2. “Be strong.” It takes more effort to wait than to run ahead. It takes strength, deliberate perseverance to wait. WAITING IS NOT PASSIVE.
3. “Take heart.” WAITING TAKES TRUST. “Take heart”, to me, is Jesus saying, “it’s going to be okay if you stay right here by Me and watch who I am and what I’m going to do. I am good and have only good intended for you.”
4. “And wait for the LORD.” In case I didn’t get it the first time. Which I never do.
David, in this Psalm, was looking for answers, for relief from his waiting.
Earlier, in verse seven, he says, “Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.“
But look what he says in the very next verse:
“My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
David stopped looking for answers and started watching for God Himself.
For His presence, His promises.
In verse 13, right before the “wait for the Lord” verse, David says, “I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
He knew that he would see and experience God’s goodness in his lifetime, regardless of the answers he would receive.
This is what enabled him to wait for the Lord.
Because David trusted in God’s goodness. He looked for and leaned on God Himself, not for or on the outcome he desired.
I think I get it, Lord.
At least for today.
Today, I will deliberately wait and watch for YOU. I will set my own need for answers aside and just look at You and Your goodness.
I will look at the path and walk next to You, instead of running aimlessly ahead. I will be deliberate.
My trusting hand will be in Yours.
That way I won’t get lost and will stop tripping over my own anxious feet.
Sounds like a good plan.
Your good plan….
Jeremiah 29:11 -” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”