I am not a runner chick. In fact, I truly despise the act of running. I have a love/hate relationship with my “dreadmill,” and I rarely go beyond a brisk walk when I climb aboard.
I admire runners. I work with and am close to so many people who enjoy the physical and mental benefits of running, but it doesn’t seem to be a part of my genetic makeup.
But I am proficient at one kind of running. Very often, I run, sprint, dash, and rush in the opposite direction of where I’m supposed to be. I’ll be on a mission, moving as fast as I can to reach a goal, when suddenly I realize I shouldn’t be pursuing it.
It happens all the time. You’d think I’d learn my lesson. What causes me to do this?
Sometimes I attempt to reach a goal or accomplish something to please other people. Have you ever done that? Usually in my experience, if my actions do please someone else, they often leave me feeling void of any triumph. Achieving things for others rarely satisfies my own sense of accomplishment. So why do I continue to do it?
Another reason I believe I run from what I’m supposed to be doing is because what God is calling me to do is scary or just plain hard work. I’m not the most self-disciplined person and taking the easy route appeals to my lazy side. But think about it…God’s will is rarely easy.
Was it easy for Noah to build an ark? Not only was it physically taxing, I’m sure the ridicule from others caused him great emotional anxiety as well.
Was it easy for Abraham to follow the command to sacrifice his son?
Was it easy for Mother Teresa to share the love of Jesus with others?
Is it easy for missionaries today to spread the Word of God in hostile countries?
Honestly, I don’t think God has ever asked me to do anything that extreme. So why do I run the other way in a furious attempt to do my own thing? Or to follow the will of others?
The answers elude me.
The one thing I know for certain is when I’m racing toward something with blinders on, God will shake His head, tap me on the shoulder, and make me realize I’ve chosen the easy path. Sometimes He does this with a Bible verse that pops up over and over again. Or it might be a certain song I hear on K-Love. Or maybe it’s just an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Whatever means He uses, I’m sure I don’t always get the hint on the first try, but He keeps sending me clues and reminders until I recognize the need to switch directions.
Thank you, God, for your patience and guidance.
One of the perks of having a teenage daughter is getting to embarrass and/or annoy her on a regular basis. It doesn’t take much. A goofy face across a crowded room. A few dance steps in the mall. A mention of her toddler years.
On the way home from church yesterday, I was singing along with the stereo. I’m the first to admit I can’t carry a tune, but when Autumn starts rolling her eyes at my attempts, it’s my cue to crank the volume and my enthusiasm. After the eye roll, a shake of the head, and a slight grin, she declared, “You are a mess.”
I am a mess.
In the infamous words of Phineas and Ferb, let me just say, “Yes. Yes, I am.” (I have an 8-year-old, so quoting cartoons is a favorite pastime.)
I am a mess, and I’m willing to admit it. I know people who try to hide their weaknesses. They try to act perfect. They put other people down to shift attention away from themselves and their own flaws. I would rather just let everyone know up front that I am a mess.
My house is usually cluttered. My lesson plans are last-minute a lot of the time. My desk at school is covered in piles (though I know what is in each pile and can find things fairly quickly). Colton’s toys aren’t in neatly organized, labeled bins. My bathroom drawer is a jumble.
And those are just the visible, outward messes.
Inside, I’m insecure about an endless number of issues. I need confidence instead of fear. I worry what others will think. I know the right steps to take to make aspects of my life better – my health, my appearance, my marriage, my teaching, my spiritual life, and the list goes on and on – but I frequently fail to take those steps.
I am a mess.
And I’m proud of that fact because it means I’ve acknowledged I need help. I’m useless on my own. Without God’s guidance and strength, I can’t make it.
Alone, I am a mess, but with Him, all things are possible.
Are you a mess?