The last month or so, I have been reading "Crazy Love" with my small group, and I have added in daily excerpts from "My Utmost for His Highest." These two books seem to have a common set of themes and they go something like this: What is going on in this world is not about me, it is about God. To sit around worrying about things is to say God is not big enough to handle them. My life should point to God - end of story. And if I were focused on Him with a relationship that was strong and intimate, these little earthly things would not really matter. (A very brief and broad synopsis).
To me, this is very liberating. You mean, I don't have to worry about being some successful career woman because all that really matters is that my life points to Christ? Whew! You mean, if people think I'm silly or ridiculous for what I believe and what I do with my time, it doesn't matter because it isn't about me anyway? You mean if I have a bad hair day and feel unattractive it doesn't matter because my life is just a mist and in the big scheme of things, I am only here for a few seconds? You mean I don't have to have a huge house with all the latest stuff because those things have no value?
And all of a sudden the worrying and the striving and the silly things that get under my skin are taken away. Because they simply do not matter. It is such a relief not to worry if people like me, if I'm successful enough for a 31-year-old, if I have too many gray hairs and wrinkles for my age or if the guy in the yellow Camaro pulled out in front of me. Who cares! And who is going to remember any of that anyway in 50 years? Or even 10!
As for the bigger issues, the ones that really do seem important - will I be a good mother if I have kids one day? What will become of this country? What if I lose someone I love? Will I end up with cancer or Alzheimer's? Could Jason ever lose his job? I am not supposed to worry about these. God has instructed me over and over again in the Bible not to worry. That makes it actually WRONG if I sit around doing it. I never thought about it like that.
So lately I've felt liberated, free, content and at peace. I have been given permission to love Love Himself because that is the most important thing in this world. Who wants to carry all of that other stuff around all day anyway? People at work stir up trouble - I let it go. I don't have the best house among all of my friends - so what? This body is going to grow old - bring it.
And then...I have a running injury...and I'm wanting a PR marathon in two weeks and all of a sudden I am out of sorts, worrying, fretting and frustrated. Wait a minute. If all of that other stuff doesn't matter (the unpleasant stuff no one wants to worry about anyway) then this can't either. If my relationship with God is more important than the horrible traffic on Tuesday morning and the fact that someone hacked into my e-mail account, then that applies to marathon running as well!
I've been ignoring this injury for a while. I've had a little pain below my right knee (down my shin a little), but it would only hurt at the beginning of each run, so I assumed it was just something tightening up. I have had it since before October. The hard fall I took in the 50 Miler probably did not help it, but after I recovered it did not seem any worse, so I continued running with it. Saturday, after my 20 mile training run, I noticed some swelling. I had never noticed it before assuming it was a bone that matched the other knee, but when I looked, it did not match at all.
So I have to take some time off. Which is fine because I need to be tapering and resting anyway. But there is the upcoming marathon, the Just Move It contest at work, and my own daily enjoyment of the activity. So I had to start over this morning. I had to remind myself of the new (or renewed) purpose in my life, which is to point to God. It is not about me or my running or my health or my attractiveness or my speed or lack there of. It is about my amazing Creator, my Lord and Savior and Friend. The running part is merely a blessing - one of the many I've received from Him, and that is what it must remain.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”