Matt and I are training for the Nashville Half Marathon and let me just tell you, it is not easy for me to find the training time. Up until yesterday, all my miles have been on the treadmill due to weather, child care, etc. Yesterday we had some beauuuutiful weather in Columbus. With my man holding the fort, the opportunity was afforded to me to run OUTSIDE!
Now you would think that I would have been ecstatic, but instead, I was apprehensive. Why? Because I had grown accustomed to my running procedure. The environment was a controlled temperature and the “dreadmill,” as my friend, Aaron, calls it, had become security. All the parameters were set; I just needed to step on and be a hamster for my proper time. There was no enjoyment on the treadmill; it was just a protocol. Something I had to do.
So I forced myself to rush out the front door of our house and into the (da, da, dum….) great outdoors. (Well, our neighborhood.)
And something wonderful happened. I started to feel the sunshine in my bones! The fresh air flowed through my lungs and I ran faster those four miles than I have all winter! The wind was blowing, birds were singing and my feet were pounding the pavement. The love for running that I had two years ago when I ran my first half marathon returned. What is even more miraculous; I didn’t want to stop. So I didn’t! I ran further than the required training.
Throughout the run, I was thinking about how silly it was that I didn’t want to let go of the treadmill.
Then, God was speaking to my heart about this little lesson.
Isn’t it just like humans to hold on to what we think is so great for us? As Christians, we just settle into our daily or weekly “God” routine. The protocol is straightforward and we follow it. Church on Sunday, choir practice, small group…whatever the ritual is, we just do our duty. The temperature is set and woe be to anyone who would want to adjust it! Why, the schedule has been the same for umpteen years.
But what if God has something better? What if He’s ready to pour in the sunlight? What if He wants to let the wind of the Spirit blow through and renew hearts and lives?
What if He wants to take us further than the “required” training?
Let go of the treadmill.