Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Hypocritcal Runner

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.”
Matthew 11:28-30


  1. Oh, I needed to read this today. I'm having one of those awful life sucks! weeks, and I need to be reminded that I am not the center of the universe sometimes. It's time for the pity party to cease.

    And I'm praying for your leg!

  2. I've been thinking about this a lot lately since we talked about it. It has really helped and I have been trying to change my way of thinking about things. I'm not a big worrier (my mom was a huge worry-wart and I promised myself I wouldn't ever be), but when things don't go the way I imagined, I do tend to feel sorry for myself. But, since it's not about ME I can let all that go! It is kinda freeing.
    On another note, I don't like the sound of you leg problem...keep me updated. I'm sure you are icing and it's a great time for your tapering!! Hope it goes away!

  3. Thank you, Amanda for the prayers!!! I should've been doing more of that earlier on.

    Thanks, Shannon! I'm going to ice at home and I'm doing little rub downs throughout the day. I'm not exactly sure how to stretch it there...but I'm trying to be careful. I will keep you posted!

  4. I love this post and the verse at the end is one of my favorites. Learning not to worry is one of the hardest things to do and I'm learning that slowly but surely! I hope your leg gets better soon!!

  5. Wonderful, wonderful post. Thank you!

  6. What I got out of Crazy Love was not only that you do not have to worry about those things but that how you live should reflect how you are "crazy in love" with God. That made me think. Many girls in our Bible Study began making small changes (and some others bigger ones) because they felt convicted. You know, Francis Chan who wrote the book left the church he was pastoring and sold his house and is now serving internationally. He is really an inspiration. Thanks for the good entry and your take on the book. I sure hope that knee gets better soon!

  7. Sweet Jane ... what a beautiful post and I know you meant every single word. I love your heart and appreciate your honesty. You are such an encouragement to so many. Keep your eyes on Him!

    And take care of that knee!

  8. THAT is why I love reading your blog so much-the balance. I read one post and it gets me to thinking about how I need to be intentional with picking up my pace on my training runs. The very next post reminds me what is really most important. Interestingly enough this has been the common theme of the whole week for me and yet somehow I keep "forgetting". Priority one-LOVE GOD...loving Him IS trusting Him. ...even with my work-outs. Thank you so much for the reminder.