Monday, September 29, 2014

It's not about the running.



You might have noticed I've been getting a bit runny.
Getting my jog on. You know.

At high school we had compulsory sport. Training Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and then a game
on the weekends. My winter soccer team lost every single game. I'm proud to say that the time
we lost 24-0 I wasn't there. I hear that's a pretty bad soccer score.

I'm not really a sporty person. I was the gal who walked the cross country and spent soccer training
offering to go in goalie with my friends so we could chat. School sport kept us pretty fit but it was
never a thing to be enjoyed but endured.

So imagine my surprise when I found in myself a desire to go running. And imagine my surprise
when on that first run I found I could go and go and go without stopping for three kilometres.
Three slow puffy red faced kilometres. But three in which I didn't stop and lay heaving and dying on
the side of the road. It went on.

Now I do enjoy a good think and as I run or think about running I feel a bit conflicted.
Sometimes I feel like the anti feminist. Aren't we supposed to love our bodies no matter the shape
they're in? Am I just running so that I will be happier when I look in the mirror? Am I ashamed of
all my baby flab? Is that the reason I'm doing this?

I'd be lying if I said these thoughts didn't cross my mind but it's not enough.

Am I just a big show off? Doing it for the praise of the online community?
For some kind of virtual pat on the back?

And yes, it feels good to encourage others and be part of an online community of "people who run."
What a spunky club. It's so good to encourage my friends to get out there and do it.
Get those endorphins in to you, start your day well. All those reasons.

But that's not all.

As I was out one day I realised.

It's not about the running.

Earlier this year I had been studying Galatians Five and thinking about the fruit of the Spirit.
It's easy to read this as some kind of spiritual checklist;

"Yes, I'm kind! I helped that lady cross the street. Tick
Oh boy am I faithful. I read the whole Bible this week! Tick"

But no, just as an apple tree cannot help producing apples so Christians who are walking
in step with the Holy Spirit cannot help producing these things in their lives.

It got me thinking this year about self control. God had promised it in my life by his spirit and so I
prayed for it in my life. I'm the kinda girl who sees a Tim Tam, doesn't really want the Tim Tam
but takes it anyway because it's so chocolately and delicious. (You too?)

And then I waited. And then, weeks into this crazy exercise bender I didn't understand it hit me like
a ton of sports bras.

It's not about the running.

It's God.

He's teaching me about self control.

He heard, he listened, he answered. And like the sneaky fella he is I didn't even get it at first.
But what a great lesson it has been in learning to say no to things that aren't helpful and yes to
sticking at something, rising early, following a plan.

My anxieties about my motives are quenched because each time I run I remember that God is
using this to bring about his work in me.

The running, that's not about the running at all.






No comments:

Post a Comment