Monday, July 12, 2010

while I'm waiting . . .

transition: the act of passing from one state or place to the next

I realized this week that we've been in transition for over a year now. In terms of housing, ministry andtransition community we are still "passing from one place to the next."

That's a long time to be in transit. In fact, I got downright cranky about it a few days ago.

"What am I supposed to do while we're waiting ?" I whined to Greg one evening. "I need to feel connected! I need community!"

Greg, who is a really wise man, answered me with a question: "Didn't you mention recently that God told you to run?

"Um, maybe," I answered, surprised that he remembered.

"Then while we're waiting, I think you should run . . ."


Why, you may be asking, would the Lord of the Universe tell a 54 year-old woman--who hates running--to start sprinting? What possible purpose would that serve?

I honestly haven't a clue, but I've felt His prompting for several months now. It started with a running book loaned to me by a friend. A book I offered a polite "thank you" for and promptly shelved. Didn't Debbi know I hated running?

But on one of our weekend treks to Walla Walla, I finally read "Born to Run"and found it absolutely fascinating. In fact, I became a little obsessed with running. I researched funky running shoes. I rented Chariots of Fire. I watched YouTube videos about proper running techniques.

But I still wasn't motivated to actually run. I was honestly a bit fearful of injuring myself at my advanced age. :)

During my daily Bible reading, however, verses about running started popping up. From prophets outrunning chariots in the Old Testament to the father racing to meet his prodigal son in Luke, I discovered the scriptures are jam-packed with jogging verses.

God really got my attention on my birthday. When I read Hebrews 12:1: "Run with endurance the race God has set before you," it seemed to be a challenge issued from on high.

So I laced up my running shoes and began to cautiously shuffle around the block, torn between the fear of hurting myself and scaring my neighbors. I really wanted to run, but starting at my age made no sense to me. Without a clear sense of purpose, it was easy to find excuses not to run.

Until my husband brought it up this week.

Emboldened by his encouragement, I ran all the way to the community garden yesterday (OK, it's only a mile and mostly downhill), hoed and weeded for 20 minutes, then ran/walked back. As I trotted toward home, I asked the Lord to explain a few things to me.

"Lord, I think I get that You want to teach me stuff through running--like perseverance and endurance. But one thing still confuses me--what does running have to do with waiting?'

Before I completed my next stride, it came to me:

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Well, alrighty then. I shall run!

So, the next time you see a determined, middle aged woman jogging around Clackamas, smile and wave.

It's just me, waiting . . .