My goal this month was to talk about motivation and as I began evaluating my life, which was lacking motivation, I asked myself, “WHY?”
As runners, asking ourselves “Why?” is one of the most important things we can do, because in essence, this is where we get our motivation from. Not only do runners benefit from this, but when Jesus’ soul was heavy to the point it felt like it was dying, He too reminded himself why He was taking on this task of dying for our sins. One, He knew it was the Father’s will, and two, He was excited about the outcome of what would happen in the end. (See Hebrews 12:1-3 and Matthew 26:38-42)
I have struggled on and off with depression most of my life. This year was the first year it was pretty much eliminated from my life, until… I got my eyes off of God and onto the circumstances around me. This lasted for about a month till I finally ran back to God in desperation. Then with two miles left to go in my Half Marathon a few weeks ago, it hit again and I still haven’t completely shaken it fourteen days later.
I began asking God what the cause was for these episodes of depression and in so many words, for both of them, it was that I got my eyes off of what really mattered and onto the impossibility of worldly matters. The root for both was that I lost hope in Christ and forgot WHO God really is.
When God gave me a vision for Be Still and Run, I thought it was going to just fall into place and happen overnight, but boy was I wrong. There have been so many detours to my plans that I eventually just stopped trying so hard to get things to happen in my time and tried to flow with God’s schedule. Maybe those of you who have been with me for awhile have noticed that.
In this last half marathon, I believe my mind quit on me when I realized I was not going to make my goal of a 3:30, which I was so hoping for. It was possible, but I believe because the course ended up being close to a mile longer than it was supposed to be that my mind wasn’t making that connection at the time. Later when I did the math, I actually did make my goal of a 3:30! I think God just wanted to teach me how to trust Him even when it doesn’t look like He’s working, so He added an extra mile. I mean, when you don’t train on trails with high elevation, one extra mile is a lot. I know the desire to run these races are led by God because I am not a naturally good runner, nor do I particularly like the grueling training days sometimes, or the tortuous miles on the trail, but it’s all part of the dream God has given me.
Do you have any dreams that you feel the Lord has given you? Do you feel like they are never going to happen? Today’s post is not from a standpoint of “I’ve arrived and can encourage you with what I did.” Rather this post is a reminder to me, and hopefully for you as well, that when God is in control of our lives, plans will most likely never go the way we expect them to and 99% of the time, there will always be detours. God seems to delight in dreams, but God also seems to delight in detours.
If we can remind ourselves why we do what we do and then keep our eyes on what truly matters, then we can slip through life in a forward momentum, perhaps not easily or fully happy every day, but an ongoing run along the trail that will eventually get us to our destination.
We can learn from the past, let it go, and move on
We can take our thoughts captive, speak the truth to them, and move on.
And we can remind ourselves Why we do what we do.
The power of knowing your “Why” in life is that it gives you the strength to look to Jesus. If your why is not strong enough and meaningful to you, then you are sucking the life out of you and wasting precious time that could be spent doing things for and with the Lord. The reason you brush your teeth is probably to avoid cavities and most likely that is a strong enough “Why” for you to keep brushing.
My goal from now on is to keep my eyes on WHO God is as much as possible and then remind myself WHY I do what I do. And hopefully I’ll get out of this depression phase quicker than the last time!