Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4: Balance

Running takes a lot of balance. That may seem like an obvious statement, but I mean something different than what you're probably thinking. Yes, running requires balance so you don't fall down or hurt yourself. But running also requires balance of a different sort. I've thought about this many times while I was running (which, oddly enough, is not a great time to also type a blog post), but have forgotten what I wanted to say by the next time I sat down to write. One of the good things about writing every day for 31 days is that I don't have much of a chance to forget. So here it is.

In a lot of ways, running is a lot like life. Paul makes the comparison in 2 Timothy 4:7.."I have fought the good fight,I have finished the race,I have kept the faith." Life is like a race. Lots of people say, "Life is a marathon, not a sprint" and that's true too. But I think there are actual lessons and life applications we can learn from running. For example, I've found that when I'm running, I can't spend all of my time staring at the ground in front of me to see where my next step will land. However, I also can't spend all of my time staring up at the sky no matter how beautiful it looks like the early morning or late afternoon light. I have to find a balance. If I stare at the ground, I could run into stuff: a person, a car, a dog, a tree, a mailbox. If I stare at the sky, I could trip over all sorts of things or run off the path entirely. Neither of those outcomes sound appealing to me. So I've got to look around while I run--making sure I'm aware of my surroundings so I don't get hurt or miss anything that's happening around me. If I spent all of my time looking down or looking up exclusively, I might miss scenes like this:


(All of these pictures are from my half-marathon training last fall.)

If we go through life with our heads down, we might miss opportunities that God has placed in our paths. We may miss out on blessings or interactions that are literally right in front of us, but we're too focused inward to notice. But we can't ignore what's going on in our own hearts either. We have to find a balance. Thankfully, if we stay close to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will prompt us accordingly. Whether we need to take a step back and pay attention to our own lives or we need to step out and get involved in something outside of ourselves, if we're walking with Jesus and following His leading, we don't have to make those distinctions. We just have to follow. Obey. Trust.

C.S. Lewis said "True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less."

Just like running, life needs balance. And, as Christians, our only right balance comes from being centered on Christ.

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