Day 24: From running to resting

Yesterday morning, I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with a wonderful woman of God. Over cups of coffee we jumped from topic to topic, eventually landing on fitness.

As a fellow runner, my friend was sharing some of her experiences with me including the aggravation of sports-induced injuries. Just this Sunday, God had healed her of a knee issue! After a year of pain and aching, she was telling me how she planned to go for her first long-distance run later this week.

I knew that from my cheerleading days and the abundance of cardio days during my undergraduate career I had developed issues beginning in the arch my right foot and extending to the top of my calf.

Following our talk and a two-hour lecture,  I went to the gym determined to get to the treadmill. After a five minute warm-up, I sped the machine up and settled into a run.

For those of you who love working out, you can understand the greatness of the feeling when your feet are pounding on the treadmill’s rotating belt. I mean it’s nothing compared to actually running outdoors, but it’s a nice replacement.

About fifteen minutes into my workout, I could feel the numbness and pain taking over my right leg. Furious, I kept going. I wasn’t going to let some stupid injury keep me from getting my workout in.

Eventually, I could go no further. I had to stop the treadmill and admit my weakness. My leg simply was not healed enough from my past injury for me to be exhausting it as I was.

Psalm 37:7a reads “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;”

Rest.

A word I normally associate with a smile and a warm blanket, but in the case of being still when my legs want to run, of admitting my inadequacy when my flesh wants to keep on, rest seems like a punishment.

Instead of doing cardio, I settled onto the gym floor and worked my core and arms instead. I normally ignore this part of my body because my focus remains on toning my legs and perfecting my breathing.

This was different. This wasn’t comfortable. This wasn’t what I wanted. But it’s what my body needed.

To make matters even crazier, I actually stretched after my workout. I could almost hear my muscles thank me for this consideration!

When we run through this life in our own strength, blaring the music of our personal plans in our ears, we often tune out what God is trying to speak to us.

And for those of us who are like me, it takes a humbling experience for us to remove the earbuds and slow our pace down a bit.

God asks that we just take time to rest in His presence, silencing the noise of the world around us and tuning our ears to the beating of His holy heart.

Contrary to what society tells us, our most productive time is not when we are running to and fro or being involved in this and that.

No, our greatest moments are found in the rest of the Lord’s embrace.

Today, I encourage you to take a few moments to just close your eyes and sit with God in silence. Don’t petition Him with prayer requests at this particular moment, but just be with Him, allow the beautiful intimacy of the Father’s love for you to permeate every aspect of you and your day.

 

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