Saturday, August 21, 2010

God and running...:-)

I think A LOT. It's just getting out on paper or on a blog that seems to be the problem. One particular way in which my thoughts are transpired is through running. Running has become something that I absolutely love to do. Usually I run the best when I have a problem I am facing and sometimes I can even come up with a solution to it. Most times this is a prayerful time for me to just be alone with God and my thoughts.

It's really neat living in Spring Lake, MI. They have wonderful bike/running paths so that all may be able to keep an active lifestyle. There are several types of people that run or bike:

-Those who are just starting out and need plenty of encouragement.

-Those who have been at it for a while and are in the middle of the pack.

-Those who are quite advanced in their activity and have a more competitive edge.

Out of these 3 categories I fall in the middle of the pack. One of my favorite things about running/biking is that you can receive verbal or unverbal encouragement from those pass by. I love getting "the knod" from those who are also in the middle of their physical activity. To me that means, "keep it up, you're doing great." Some people will actually speak these words as I'm passing by which is very helpful too. In fact, I was running recently when one of my high school teachers passed by on his bike. Maybe he could tell I was struggling, maybe not. He didn't even know it was me but he still shouted words of affirmation as he passed me by. That really meant something to me and it DID help me to keep going.

I think there is something more here beyond just physical activity. In our Christian walk we are all in vastly different places:
-Some have been Christians for years and are growing more and more each day.
-Others may have also been Christians for years but might have had a time of struggle in which they turned away from God for a period of time.
-Others may be just starting out and are excited about the new life they are starting.
-There are those who are "newer" to Christianity but are growing and growing as well.

We are not all on the same level. We all learn differently and grow differently too. This life is not easy and it was not intended to be that way.

Something that is wonderful is when I receive encouragement from others. They may know what I am dealing with and want to give me a helpful push in the right direction. Even though we may be in a different place in our walks with the Lord the encouragement is still helpful and needed. Just like when I am running--I'll take encouragement from anyone. It definitely helps me to attain my goal and gives me a sense of what I am doing and the importance of not giving up, no matter the difficulty of the task.

"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace"
Acts 20:24, NIV

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My prayer today

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you another day to live and be in your presence, for this among the other countless blessings you have given me I do not deserve.

I want to take this time to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the times this week that I did not live up to your calling. I know I mess up often but it is such a comfort to know you are there to pick me up.

Lord this is such a humiliating thing for me to admit but you already know that I am guilty of this. At times I can find myself apathetic about one thing or another and I am not sure why. Maybe I'm not seeking after you enough or maybe I'm not listening. Lord, please forgive me for I know this is a deadly sin with horrific consequences. How can I find myself in this state at times when I have the greatest gift in my life?

Forgive me Lord when my heart does not break for those in need around me. You have called me to give of myself, even when it hurts. When I know there is a need that I can meet and I fail to do so, I am ignoring what is in front of me. I am selfish and wrong; I am sorry. You put people in my life who are thinking of those around them constantly. I am so thankful to you for this gift as they are a constant reminder and example to me. There are needs globally and locally as well. Help me to know where I can be effective. Let me listen to where you want me to go and be used; let me have a willing heart for you, oh God.

My heart should completely break at the thought of your crucifixion. When it does not Lord, forgive me. You gave your life so that I can live which is the greatest sacrifice. How can I not completely break every time? When we have Communion in church my tears fall easily and I am in repentance. Lord, may my tears fall not only during this time but from postlude to prelude as well.

Lord, when I am not kind to others, bring it to my attention. When I am only seeking those who are lovable, help me to seek out those who are more difficult to love. Help me to tame my tongue when it is easier to gossip and be a part of the crowd. Lord, help me to ultimately love as you called me to love, which is at the base of most of this prayer. I cannot live my life without you, nor would I want to attempt to.

Thank you for your sacrifice and for choosing to love me. Thank you for helping me up each and every time I fall. I know I will fall again but your saving love will lift me up. Thank you for your consistency and for being the same; yesterday, today and forever. I love you Lord.