As I stood at the kitchen sink, washing up after dinner-I could see them clearly. They were swinging. Higher and higher. She jumped off the swing and began to run. Oh, her run. It’s so free. It makes me smile. She has a quick step and she tends to throw in a little skip or two to vary her step. She runs…and runs…and runs. She has two speeds: Off and On. As a matter of fact, at the library on Wednesday I had to caution her to slow down. Her response? “But, Mom…I am so excited!”.
Thinking about her…running…excited…and RUNNING. Kids. Seriously- think about it…they RUN seemingly non-stop. Our little family participated in a 5k on Saturday. We have done this one for the past three years. The first year, I had both kids in a jogging stroller. The second year, our son “graduated” to walking and our daughter floated from stroller to walking and back again. This year, all four of us suited up; some to walk and some to run. Afterward, I was chatting with a friend and was telling him how proud I was of our son. He had run his first race with his father. My friend kind of chuckled and said, “And because he’s young he will probably go home and run another five miles in the back yard.” So true.
So as I watched her scamper around like the vibrant, energetic four-year old that she is I wondered…When do we stop running? Why?
Somewhere down the line we slow down, become more focused on “things” and “stuff”, worldly responsibilities creep in and consume our time, we smile less and complain more and even worry a little. Why is that? You’d think that as the days pass on- as we get one year older and one year closer to the Lord- it would be more natural to speed up instead of slowing down. That’s a lot to ponder.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
Recently, I started walking through a Bible Study called “Restless” by Jennie Allen and I have been nothing but restless ever since. In the video, Jennie opens with a story about running that really opened my eyes. (Maybe that’s why watching my daughter run struck me the way it did.) I will refrain from writing a blog on the race…because, frankly my sweet sister in Christ, Danielle, has already made a masterpiece of that in blog form. Anyways, while walking through the study last week, I had a restless revelation. After talking a spiritual gifts test (again) and reflecting on past hobbies etc…I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. Last week, I had no clue what my gifts and talents were. I thought I had none. Sure, I was good at stuff…but, did I have a spiritual gift that could be used to serve the Lord? What is MY purpose? Through this study on that particular morning I discovered that not only was I wrong, but I was wrong and actually USING my gifts and talents. While there are some areas that I need to allow God to fertilize and plenty of room for growth…I am blooming where I am planted. I was blown away. When I sat down to speak with my hubby about my discovery he said, “You really sell yourself short. I think that makes it harder for you to see the gifts and talents God has equipped you with.”
There is much, much more to this particular restlessness that I am experiencing, but it was too much for one post. I wanted to share this part today because I am excited. After beginning the race as a young girl- RUNNING; I stumbled and spent many years of watching the race from the sidelines. I re-entered the race with a cautious walk and eyes wide open, but I think in this portion of the race I have finally hit my stride! (At least in my current season.) To have confirmation from the Lord during that study and prayer time was just what I needed to hit that stride with the confidence I should have. IN HIM.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
I have always loved that word…”Unswervingly”. Part of the purpose I believe God is pushing me toward is “how we may spur one another on” and I am excited to see what’s next.