Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Lesson Learned

Running has been a marvelous teacher for me in my adult life. I started running in my mid-20's, as a break in my day from being a young mother of two young boys. When I first began, I ran with friends. They were more experienced runners. They encouraged me when the going was hard. We didn't run more than a couple of miles but I thought it was really a huge feat!  I enjoyed the growing sense of well-being and as the months and years went on I began to run with other more enthusiastic runners. They challenged me to run farther and faster.  I began to enter fun-runs and learned the joy of the runners community!  This is how our Christian walk can be. As new-comers to the faith, we are blessed if we have more mature disciples to help us along, encouraging us in our walk.  There is a risk, though that we might never grow past the simple run, that we not press onward to a higher level of faith. Thank God for those who can challenge us to grow in our faith, that like Peter, to get out of the boat and try to walk on water!

Eventually I had grown as a runner so I did not need to always have someone with me to keep me running. The joy of the long, lone run became the most precious time of my day. It was on the country roads that I began to have deep conversations with the Lord. Parables upon parables would come to mind and I grew spiritually. Maturity in the Faith is built on that precious time, one on one with the Lord. Just as I looked forward to my long runs, I looked forward to the  precious alone time with my Lord Jesus!
I learned about perseverance. I learned about discipline. Meditation became easy.  I experienced the spirit, soul, body connection as never before. Then I was injured.

I had never even given my knees a thought in the 20 years of running.  I paid the price. When I twisted my knee at the end of a marathon run, I discovered I had neglected to strengthen my knees. It was an area lacking in my training.  I learned that the body needs complete training. Every muscle and joint needs to be developed. There needs to be balance. When I neglected to train all my body, I opened myself wide to be injured. Similarly, in the walk of faith, even mature seasoned Christians can be injured. Pain can come from any direction and totally blind-side you if you are not prepared. My greatest injury was the death of my son.  What I discovered over the years was, even with all my training as a Christian, I had not learned to dwell in the secret place of the Most High. (Psalm 91) I didn't even know what it was!

Sometimes injuries can take years to recover from.  That was the case for me.  Recently, my knee was completely healed through prayer. Similarly, after several years of agonizing over the loss of our son, through prayer I received understanding on how to live in the secret place, under the shadow of His wing. It is the face to Face place!!  I got back on track with my faith! And after 10 years of being sidelined from running,  I was on the track again and really excited about returning to running.

Then I did a stupid thing.  I tried to walk on the rough outdoor track carrying an 18 month-old. As I held her, she created a blind-spot and in an instant, I didn't see a hole and boom! Down we went. Praise the Lord, I was able to twist and keep her from being severely injured!  But my ankle broke and here I am again, recovering from an injury and out of action.

I have had some time to think about all of this as I gimp around on my grotesque, green cast. (I really was hoping for a pink one!) What God has shown me is I am not supposed to be carrying the burdens! I am supposed to lay them at His feet.  When I carry the burden it creates a blind-spot. I can not see clearly the path that I am on and so can be easily tripped up. Sometimes other people's problems can create soul-ties. Their issues touch a place in our souls that are in need of healing and before you know it, crash! Down you go!

Thankfully, I have taken this time to really press into the Lord for spirit life. And I have remembered to train the entire self!  I have joined a gym and have renewed my mind with the Word of God.  I am praising the Lord in all things and looking forward to each new day.  I am glad this life is a journey not just a destination! And how wonderful that every day is a new beginning in the eternal!!  I am soaring!

Blessings, Anna Marie