Friday, June 13, 2008


I've noted before the euphoria of sorts that occurs when I plat, plat, plat, my stress away on the treadmill, even more high inducing with awesome tunes like Coldplay and Kayne West's Homecoming. Despite my love the for the movement of black rubber in a oval pattern, I am aware not all running is good.

We have a tendency to run in our lives, run all over "hell and back," and be pulled in all directions. Spiritual running does the same a running in life - it feels good for the moment, you think you've avoided the issue, shed the stress until you wake up in the night with a leg cramp, or a sore right arch. The issues are still there, your stressors are still there and now you're just sore (not to deter anyone from exercise - just saying). The issue with physical running is that in the end it will more then likely contribute to your health, spiritual running has a tendency to do the opposite.

When we're running from God, we indirectly become acutely aware of how fragile we are as He is truly omnipresent - the weight sinks in, sleep is fractured and yet we have a tendency to pick up the pace, shove as many people, things, events between ourselves and God in the hopes to distract Him or distract ourselves. We are like Jonah, while we don't run on trade ships we do it with work, relationships, people. I've done it, most notably my second semester at Simon Fraser, I knew the medical school dream as a mirage and yet I took on more courses, more of everything - I was going to eat that sand if it killed me but I wasn't going to sit there and talk it out with God. Through that time I was in the whale and I do believe that God does do that to us, impose a whale prison when we just can't seem to get it. These days I find the thought of a whale circling in the spiritual waters below me is enough to get me to change my course. But it's not to say it's easy - believing that He has wonderful plans, greater then we could imagine is easy when life is easy, it's brutally and at times life alteringly hard when we want what He's directing us away from. I've grown to hold onto a saying that's been thrown more and more these days - the pain though raw now is brief, the pain later will be that much greater. In that sure we can't imagine making those decisions, but we need to because while we are being directed away from what we want, we are being directed towards what He desires for our lives.

It's one of those life lessons we do spend hours in aquatic animal's belly figuring out, while we maybe in the gut of another, He gives us our own gut feelings for a reason, and they normally require that we act. If the source or the purpose of those feelings swirling inside you is unknown then take the time to sit with Him and find a respite from the running in the silence.

While the song isn't about Jonah, it is about another pivotal decision and of course a song I love for the truth in the relationship between God and us.

Holy Is the Lord - Andrew Peterson



Anonymous said...

this story is all too familiar

Natasha said...

I have to say I find myself totally agreeing with this "running syndrome". Why it's easier to stay up late to study, fit proper eating and exercise into our already busy lives when we haven't made 5 minutes to spend with God is sad. Thanks for the literally refreshing perspective. Hope all is well and plans as they are - are coming along nicely. Any fun updates let me know and I'll give you a call on the weekend and we can talk. Lots of love, tasha