Relaxing

Looking back on the Past, while Leaning on Christ for the Future

As the New Year of 2020 played out, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing it all wrong.  Where my goals really something I wanted to do?  After praying about them for two months and never getting an answer I thought maybe God was leaving the details up to me since He had given me my main focus, my word, and my verse.  But still something seemed out of place. 

I joined a challenge for January of memorizing and meditating on John 15.  Nine days into meditating on God’s Word, after laying it aside for so many months, I had realized how much I missed it.  It used to be a burden, just another task on my list that needed to be done.  What is happening to me?  I often caught myself thinking.  I used to hate the very idea of giving my whole life to God.  It seemed, well, boring.  And what about all the things He would ask me to do, that I knew I wasn’t going to like?

After being a Christian for about fifteen years, the year of 2019, I finally yielded my life to Christ and gave Him every area of my life.  I felt so free!  But then what?  What did He want me to do?  Before, I had been trying to live my own life hoping that it was pleasing to God.  What was to change? 

God wasn’t just after my life, He was after my heart – my whole heart – nothing more, nothing less. 

Alli

As a Christian, that’s all He wants because that is where He can work.  Over the years, sure I’d given Him a little here and a little there and He did what He could, but when I finally gave Him my whole heart, access to everything about me, I literally felt like I had been saved again, and honestly for a few hours I thought I had just gotten saved for the first time because I felt so peaceful, so quiet, and so free.  Never before had I felt this way. 

But back to January of 2020.  Psalm 37:4 says that as we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.  This had become a new promise to me and still is to this day.  Something I rely on God to keep, to help direct my life.  My goal is to seek Him and follow the desires He places in my heart.  Since January was going by way too fast, I really began praying that He would show me what He wanted me to do, and slowly, over time, I beginning to realize all He wanted was for me to enjoy my life with Him, right where I was.

My focus in 2020 was Christ.  I wanted to seek a relationship with Him because that is what I have realized life is about.  Love is the basis of life, but without a relationship you can’t have love since there would be no one to love.

Fast forward to the present (May 2021), I am still growing in my relationship with Christ, still pounding pavement on a regular basis because that is where my heart is.  About a month ago, for the first time in my life, I feel like I am directly in the center of God’s will for my life, right where He wants me to be!

Not only has this new peaceful state affected my everyday life, it has affected my running as well.  When I relax during a run and “just run” with good form, all pain and anxiety seems to dissipate while my pace quickens with each mile.  I have not done a race or time trial in many months so I have no idea what condition my body is in.  Some days I don’t want to get out there and run in the rain, or the wind, or the humidity, but you know what happens when you relax and rest on Christ in these undesirable conditions?  You get stronger, the easy days are not only so much easier, but so much more enjoyable, and you actually begin to enjoy or look forward to these harder workouts.

This is my focus in the year of 2021, to rest on the promises of God, to relax and enjoy the ride – to relax and trust that God is in control and knows way more than I do, thus giving Him the wisdom to lovingly guide me.  I want to learn to relax in life, in my running, and in my relationships, all while leaning on Christ.

Looking back over your life, how have you seen God at work in your heart?  What stage of life are you in?  Is it time to commit your life to Christ, to surrender to Him, to give Him everything, or is it time to relax and trust in Him, leaning on the hundreds of promises He gives to us as Christians?

For now, I’ll leave you to ponder these questions, and challenge you to look back on the past, while leaning on Christ for the future.

Until next time, Happy Running Ya’ll!

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