Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Runner

I have many friends who are runners.  In fact, I'm friends with an entire group that get up at 5ish in the morning to run.  While I do love them all, I find this well...nuts.  Never having been a runner and the most running I've ever done, being when chasing after my children, I really have never seen the draw.  I still don't.  I have to say that I don't see myself ever rising before daybreak to get in a run.  I only rise before daybreak if I'm going on a trip or Black Friday shopping.

We have completed our second week of actual running in this C25K program.  I love my couch.  My couch is white with these removable covers that are machine washable making it safe for kids.  The comfort level of this couch is second to none.  The windows in the room this couch resides in faces the east and the light streams in making it a wonderful place to get comfy with a book.  While this room is a living room or receiving room, I think of it more as a sanctuary.  It's my peaceful place in a world gone mad.  I can get lost here and venture to brave new worlds.  There is a piano here that my daughter sometimes plays while I'm reading making it an even more pleasant experience as I listen to beautiful music as I read.

I miss my couch and yet...sometimes...when we are out together hitting the pavement, my husband and I, I think about what I may be missing holing up in my favorite place.  This place that I find such a comfort and bring me such joy may also be the very place that I am hiding in.

Am I hiding?  Surely I'm not hiding because I'm not a runner.  I've never once had a desire to run.  Sure I've had a desire to be healthier or thinner but never, not once, to be a runner.  I still don't.  The irony of these last few statements is that without question that is exactly what I am.  I'm a runner.  Not in that I take to the open road and pound the pavement, although I have been doing that.  Well in as much as I do my bouncy shuffle down the road and hope that I don't hurt myself or pass out.  But more than that, I'm a runner in the sense that when I get scared or overwhelmed or just don't want to do something...I run.

I don't stick around to see the outcome.  I don't climb the mountain to see what's on the other side.  I much prefer it if someone goes first, takes pictures, and then tells me all about it.  Sure I have dreams.  Big giant, scary, what if dreams but I really don't think I want them to come true, because what if it's too hard?  What if I fail?  What if it's not right?  What if I misjudged and I chose wrong?  What if I only THINK that it is what God wants for me?  What if it isn't?

What if ...excuses are second nature to me.  I'm great at excuses.  Runners usually are.  Not the ones in running shoes and all the fancy running gear, no they are dedicated.  Rain, snow, or the heat of the day, they keep on running.  They have to get their run in.  They are more reliable than the USPS or just as reliable anyway.  No I'm not that kind of runner.  I'm the other kind.

God couldn't possibly want ME to go speak.  God couldn't possibly have plans for ME.  God couldn't possibly be trying to tell Me something.  Who am I?  I'm broken.  I'm a,,, well... forty something woman with daddy issues.  Still upset that her dad didn't call and wish her a happy birthday five days later.  What on earth do I have to share?

When I am walking with my husband I take one of my ear buds out so we can talk.  Tell him my fears and we talk about the kids, we talk about everything and nothing.  When the app says to run however, I plug back in and listen to my contemporary Christian music.  Sometimes I cry.  I'm really out of shape, I only know how out of shape I am because I was once very in shape.  I can tell a distinct difference.  But I don't cry because of the pain from running, or maybe I do, only it's the running I'm good at.  My legs burn and I listen to my music and talk to God and I wonder why I'm running.  Until a whisper comes that maybe I'm running to something instead of away from something this time.  Towards what I don't know.  I don't even know if I want to know.

Do you run?  In this running we've been doing I have to run for 1.5 minutes then walk 2 minutes back and forth until time is up and I have to say I count them down.  For someone who is good at one kind of running I count this down till it's over. Then I think shouldn't it go for the other way too?  Shouldn't my faith be enough to sustain me so I don't have to run anymore?  So I don't WANT to run anymore?

We were asked in this bible study to think of what our life verse would be.  The first verse I could think of hangs on my wall.  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  My father comes out and tells me plainly that He will not harm me that He wants to give me hope and a future and I run...because I suppose I don't know how to stop.

I think that is why we are meant to do this program.  I didn't want to do it.  My husband did, I didn't.  I'm a very supportive wife so I agreed.  I'm good at supporting everyone but myself actually.  But I think this is why we are doing it, at least why I have to do it.  Because I need to know that the running can end.  That there is a beginning and end to everything and sometimes even when you are running there is an end.  Maybe that's the point.  You have to learn to run to learn to stop running.  To learn to trust that even if I don't like it, it leads to something better than what I had before.  To learn to get past my fear so I can get to the blessing beyond it. 

I'm not certain of anything except that I'm a slow learner.  So if you are looking for me, I'll be hitting the pavement with my husband three days a week.  I should warn you that I did get some new running shoes today so my bouncy shuffle may faster. 

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