Just thought I’d post a quick update here … since it’s been awhile.
I did decide to register for a half marathon run! I’m careful with the knee, but I am training. The race is Sat., Sept. 19, in Chicago. I cannot wait! I’ve been training and running with a sweet friend, and we are doing well at getting our miles in each week. 🙂 We did our long 10-mile run last weekend, and this weekend we will go out for 11 miles. Whew!
During the weeks, we do shorter runs of anywhere from 3 to 6 miles. And, I’ve been doing all I can to run in the mornings. See, I’ve always run in the evenings after work, but when I decided to do this one, I wanted to be able to keep my evenings open for other things, so that meant learning to run in the morning. (And, yes, it IS hard, and it does NOT get easier … but, I am doing it. This discipline alone is teaching me a lot! Maybe that’s another post someday.)
As I’ve run this week, I’ve been reminded of the expression “do you have a burr in your saddle?” This thought has crossed my mind a lot this week, and God is using it in my life as a reminder of some other things too.
See, on Monday when I went out to run. I laced up my shoes and hit the road. About a half mile in, I felt a very small pebble or grain of sand in my right shoe. It felt odd. It was affecting my run. But, I didn’t stop and remove it. I didn’t want to take the time. Instead, I kept running. But, as I ran, my mind was filled with things like: “this is bothering me” … “this run is hard” … “it’s hot and humid” … etc. I basically complained the entire run!!
So, today (Thursday), I laced up my shoes and got ready to head out. (And, for those who know me, lacing up my shoes is a big deal. They have to tied just right! It’s important, and takes time. Yes, I am a bit obsessive about it.) But, before I left the house, I felt the little pebble in my right shoe again. I thought “oh no, it’s still there.”
THIS time, I stopped, I sat down, untied and unlaced my right shoe, shook it real good, and the pebble came falling out. It was so very small! But, it was there. I wondered how something so small could affect my entire run on Monday. Then, I laced and tied back up, and headed out.
As I hit the road, it felt great … the pebble was gone, it was a cool morning, I knew I have 5 miles to run, but I felt like it was freeing. That one tiny little pebble was gone! And, I could run well.
I felt God gently reminding me … “Monica, is there a burr in your saddle?” … “you are irritated and you’ve been complaining a lot lately” … “what is it?” … He was showing me that there are some “little pebbles in my shoes” and my heart/mind are distracted.
He’s showing me that I have been complaining a lot lately, about little things, big things, and some days (honestly) about everything. And, WOW, that’s SO not good!!! He’s pointing out the “burr in my saddle” … the “pebble in my shoe” … and, how it is causing me to get off track in my Christian walk. It distracts me. It hinders me. It keeps me from joy and fullness. It takes my focus off of Christ and puts it on my circumstances (of which, I know Jesus is bigger than ANY of it!). But, it’s been a burr.
So, I’m asking God who take this complaining and critical heart of mine, and to somehow change, transform, and move me to have a heart of compassion for that circumstance, or person, or situation that is at the center of my complaining moment.
I know it won’t happen quickly … it will take time! (After all, I had to stop, sit down, untie and unlace my shoe to get the pebble out of my right shoe that morning.) So, this will take time. I might need to stop in my tracks, sit down, and take some actions to get things back on track.
The thing is … I know that once it’s gone … I will be free! (And, running free from distraction is one of the best runs!) I want to be that way in walk with Christ … free, full, and fruitful for the Kingdom.
Thanks for letting me share!
Blessings on your day!