my search to understand the bigger picture

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God and Running-only One Thing Remains

My last post had a video from Jesus Culture and their song "One Thing Remains". This song has been on my mind a lot lately. I still remember singing it in church a few months ago, and the first line just caught my attention. We had sung it many many times before, so I'm not exactly what triggered my taking special note of the first line. At any rate, something clicked. Here are the lyrics in their entirety.

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
[ Lyrics from: ]
On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

The first line connected with me so powerfully. "Higher than the mountains that I face..." In an instant, trail running and God merged into one. Now, typically I don't see many mountains on the trails of East Central Illinois. But certainly, mountains can serve as a metaphor when running trails, especially in ultras (greater distance than the standard 26.2 mile marathon).

Another thought came to mind soon after that. A quote I had heard only days prior by John Muir. "I would rather be in the mountains thinking about God than in church thinking about the mountains." Now, I'm not sure I agree 100% with this, but I think I can sense the intention behind it. My thoughts (daydreams) generally flow to one of two places, God and running. Honestly, I'd say it's about even. When I'm running, I don't try to force myself to think about God. I just try to relax, and allow my mind to be open, and if God wants to speak, then great. If He just wants to be with me without saying anything, I'm fine with that too. When I'm in church, I try really hard NOT to think about running. Again, I'll be honest, it's very difficult. I love Jesus. I love to run. What I don't want is for running to become an idol. So I try very hard to keep it from taking over 1st place in my life.

But that day, I felt such joy and peace. Because God and running had almost morphed into one. I was in church praising God, and yet felt He was bringing different thoughts concerning running to mind. Now, I could go on and on about loose connections, lessons to be learned between the two. I'll spare you that for now.

I have decided to take this week off from running. My body has gotten to the point where it is in dire need of some rest. While I've had an up and down week, I have been able to spend more time with God and thinking about God, and that's been great. I already feel as if I've grown some this week, allowing the Holy Spirit to walk me through some frustrations. If I had continued running this week, I'm not sure I would have taken the time or energy to address some of these issues. It's been a tough decision to stick to, no running for a week. But God has helped. I love that it's actually good for me to have a break from running, but it's NEVER good to get a break from God. That thought alone helps keep these two in perspective for me.

I suppose you could say I'm fasting from running this week. You could say I am taking a break. Who really cares. I never want a break from Jesus! When all is said and done, I want one thing to be true in my life. One thing remains..............that's my love for Him.

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