I went for a run with a new training coach today. This training coach took me a route I have never run before. He took me up steep hills I would never have chosen to run. He took me in circles for two laps, I never do that either. He also gave me great peace along my route. He directed each turn and brought me home safely in my typical amount of training time. My training coach today was the Holy Spirit. I let Him direct every turn of my run and while that may not seem like much to you, it was an exercise of trust for me.
Allowing the Holy Spirit to absolutely direct my run today was a unique experience. It is one I hope to enjoy again soon. It may not sound like much to you and if you don’t enjoy a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, you may not even understand (or believe) what I mean when I say I allowed Him to direct my run.
Here is what I gained from this experience:
Trust: This 35 minute run helped me practice Trusting God. I trusted Him to tell me where to turn at every opportunity. Instead of my typical “type AAA personality” route of running out and back for three miles, He weaved me in and around neighborhoods I would not typically have run through. I trusted Him to keep me safe and had to practice listening for His voice at every turn.
Fun: It was a blast to ask which way I should turn at each intersection, and expect the answer. I have never considered doing anything like this before. The notion just hit me as I started to approach my typical corner to begin my typical route. But, in letting the Holy Spirit direct my run, I felt deep in my spirit that my Abba Father wants to have fun with me. He wants to me to enjoy the connection with Him and cares about me having fun running because He made me to enjoy it. He designed me to enjoy taking care of my temple – for Him.
I am unique – just like everyone else: On this run, I thought about each of our individual “runs” in life. None of them are the same. Some are similar and some are at exact odds, but we each have a unique path through this world as well as a unique calling on our lives. It is only when we allow ourselves to enter into that unique calling and become who God made us to be that we can experience the fullness of life that He desires for us. Don’t waste your time longing after someone else’s talents or calling. When you are busy staring at what they are doing, you are likely missing what God is calling you to do. Instead, press into Him and He will grow you into your place in His Kingdom plan.
Running – as a practice – takes time and dedication to build up endurance to be able to run the long races. It took me 4 months of dedicated training to prepare for my marathon. I learned many lessons along those miles and slowly – but surely – built up the endurance to run 26.2 miles in one day.
Trust in God – as a practice – also takes time and dedication to build up endurance and perseverance for what this world brings our way. I would never expect to run a marathon when I had only been on training runs of 3 miles. So, how can I expect to run the race God has set before me, if I don’t spend time with Him in training and building up my spiritual running legs? Like this verse below says – throw off what entangles you and run with perseverance the race marked out for YOU. You can’t know your Coach’s plan for you if you’re not spending time with Him and you can’t grow your spiritual running legs if you aren’t even walking on them.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
There are so many verses on running in the Bible but the one above is one of my favorites because it reminds me to run with my eyes fixed on Jesus. There is no better coaching advice around!
Blessings and Love to you!
Thanks, Pam, for this encouragement. You’re so right – God wants us to take His challenge and trust Him, on unfamiliar ground. We want to keep our routine safe and predictable. But what a joy when we see Him bring blessings we would never have experienced if we hadn’t taken His challenge. Thanks for verbalizing this for us to be blessed with you in it.
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Amen, Linda! You said it! Thanks for that encouragement to step into the challenge God lays out for us!