Posted in As A Person, Be Still, Life, Our Focus

Turn your Back to the Wind

Where are our eyes and feet headed?

I had heard it multiple times, “You are focusing on it too much.”  Has anyone ever told you that the water will never boil if you stand there and watch it?  Have you ever stared at a clock and wondered what is taking that minute so long to go by?    What about resisting a food you know you shouldn’t eat?  The longer you stare at it the more you probably wanted to eat it.  Ever have an annoyance in your life?  I bet the more you dwelt on how annoying it was the worse of a headache it became. 

Since we are what we eat, (physically and spiritually speaking), shouldn’t we be watching what we feed ourselves.  Physically speaking I guess I must be a chocolate covered banana, dipped in coffee and sprinkled with date slivers.  But spiritually speaking, what am I feeding myself?  Am I focusing on the news and what’s going on in this world?  Am I watching TV and playing video games?  Or am I spending time with my family and focusing on Christ?  If I do the first I could easily become an anxiety covered selfish sloth, but if I focus on Christ and serving my family, I could allow God to shape me into the image of His Son – my big brother, best friend and role-model!

I read a book on relationships a couple months ago and most of it, like most readings, is forgotten.  But two things stood out to me and one of them God has been pressing me to follow after.  I have always referred to the wind as my adversary – A Be Still and Run comparison – and would like to go back to it this week.

Is it easier for someone to run into the wind or with their back facing the wind?  Obviously it’s the latter.  So what does this mean for us as Christians, living in this world of turmoil and confusion?  It means to turn our back to the trouble and look at Christ.  Turn our back to the devil and run to Jesus.  Turn our back to the heartache and focus on our Savior.  Turn our back to the uproar all around us and look to God.  I have noticed that as I do this, as I turn my back on any evil, any sin, anything of this world, and look to Jesus, focusing my attention on Him, everything else slowly disappears and fades into the background. 

We need to use the example of a newly married couple on their wedding day.  They are so focused on one another that nothing else around them matters.  When they get a photograph taken, most likely the background will be blurred so that people can focus on what is most important in their photo. 

One afternoon I decided to try this method out during my run to refresh my memory.  Running into the wind took more effort and exertion as I tried to maintain a steady, slow pace.  I went about two miles into the wind before turning around and heading back home.  Not only was I able to double my pace comfortable, I noticed the wind was pushing me even faster to my final destination.  So by turning my back to the wind I got a double whammy; I was able to comfortably and almost effortlessly run, while the adversary was pushing me faster and closer to my goal.  The circumstances did not change, but the direction in which I set my eyes and feet did.  Do you see the comparison to our lives?  If we turn our back to temptation, to sin, to the enemy, and place our eyes on our Savior in Heaven, not only will our journey be more delightful and effortless because we will be allowing God to fight our battles, but the negative will help push us faster and closer to Jesus if we keep Him as our main focus.

I pray we would all be able to turn our back to the wind and focus our eyes on Jesus!

Happy Running ya’ll!

Posted in Uncategorized

Peaceful Feet

Are your feet peaceful with one another?  Are your feet peaceful with your shoes?  Are they peaceful with the road?  Without our feet we could not run- obviously, right?  Most everyone has had to deal with some kind of foot pain and it’s kind of annoying- especially the persisting ones that seem to nag you all day.

The definition of peace would be living in a state of quietness, full of harmony, not being disturbed, but free from agitation.

As a runner I train myself to have peaceful feet.  I don’t want to scrape my feet across the ground- that would mean they are lazy.  I don’t want my toes to be squashed- that would give me less freedom and more foot pain.  I don’t want to hit my leg with the opposite foot during strides- because that just plain hurts.  And I don’t want to slam my feet on the ground since that causes more strain on the rest of my body.

One of the fruits of the spirit is peace and according to Ephesians 6, we should be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  1 Peter 3:11 states that we need to seek peace and ensue it.  Being shod is simply having shoes on and ensue means to pursue.  So we are told to seek peace and pursue it and to wear peace on our feet. 

For me, physically speaking, shoes are required for running. (Although I have done a couple barefoot training runs, in the grass.  I wanted to try a couple on the road, but it’s a little cold for that now.)  I make sure to get ones that keep my feet supported and comfortable, replacing them as needed.  Right now that means about one and a half pairs a year. 

Spiritually speaking, peace, as I wrote about in a different post, is an awesome quality to have.  It’s so, well… peaceful!  In order to run the race of life effectively, peace is required.  Think of a situation you are in right now.  Pick the first one that comes to mind and write it down.  Now under that begin writing what it would look like if you added peace to the equation.  Now, you could just use the word peace but that would defeat the purpose of this exercise.  But really think about it.

Let’s say someone is going through a tough time with a relationship.  Without peace, they probably have anxiety, maybe fear, doubt, most likely some bit of worry is in the mix, could be some bitterness or sadness. 

If you are still bearing with me- since I know this is a longer post- here is an exercise I have been using quite a bit lately and it has helped tremendously.  But you have to do the steps in order.  No skipping around. Take Philippians 4:6 and follow each step in the verse. 

  • #1: Write down what you are worrying about.  What is taking your peace away? Write down how you feel about the situation, etc. (End of Thinking Capacity *smile*)  Don’t give God any requests yet, right now you are just writing down your situation and the problems surrounding that. 
  • #2: Give God thanks for everything you wrote down and more.  Spend about five minutes thanking Him for whatever comes to your mind- even the so called “bad”.  An added bonus is to thank Him for who He is.  Thank Him for what He has done in the past and thank Him for the character qualities He presents toward you. 
  • #3:  Now pour out your heart to God telling him everything.  Don’t leave anything out. Everything! 
  • #4:  Last but not least, find a verse that speaks truth to the situation and every time you are tempted to dwell on any negativity concerning this area, quote the verse over and over again. 

Recently while running, both physically and spiritually, I personalized 2 Timothy 2:17, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of Power, and of Love, and of a Sound Mind.”  So since God has not given me a spirit of fear, essentially I am choosing to live in fear.  But what comforts me is that I don’t have to live in fear and I’ve noticed fear is the motive behind most of my anxiety- fear of what others think, fear of getting hurt, fear of losing a loved one, fear of making the wrong decision, etc.

I pray you will try the exercise I have been using and that God would work mightily through that.

Happy Runnin Ya’ll!