I put my hat on backwards...
I put my hat on backwards, warmed up for a minute, and took off on a run.
My full intention was to set a PB PR CR WR.
Personal Best, Personal Record, Course Record, and World Record.
The last two categories, CR and WR, are the same as the first two, since I am the only one who knows about this particular rural running course on narrow back roads. The course winds through beautiful farm land and painfully picturesque steep hills—and enough natural beauty that I seldom want to run too hard, and miss the scenery entirely through grimaces, and streaming perspiration.
But, TODAY, I just felt like putting my hat on backward. And setting some records. So, off I went.
After carving out the first mile at a pace appropriate to set the records I had envisioned, I realized… I was being “calculated” and analyzing what “I thought I could do” pace-wise, to accomplish the feet feat.
Knowing a bit about how JESUS LIVED caused me to feel an immediate rebuke in my heart over the matter, though. I know that JESUS does NOT live a “calculated” and “let’s see how much we can get by with” sort of Life. Not then, not NOW! It is what most do, and thus find themselves breaking Jesus’ Promise that they will be hated and persecuted for His Name’s sake. Whereas Jesus was murdered by religious and government guys barely more than 36 months after speaking up. HE didn’t “calculate” and preserve Himself. He left NOTHING for the way back. Then, AND now.
Granted, running doesn’t really mean anything, but the Lesson for my few turns around the sun…
for HOW I MUST LIVE FOR HIM
was artfully Illustrated in my heart at that moment.
JESUS’ LIFE, personally or as a Church, is NOT EVER TO BE CALCULATED or “handled” in a “play it safe” mentality.
HE CALLS US to “walk in His steps” and DIVE IN, HOLDING NOTHING BACK, PULLING OUT THE STOPS!
Considering consequences is for sissies and unBelievers.
“Falling back in the chair” (the Greek word “Faith” and “Believe” means exactly this)… is an EVERY DAY thing for those who are “conformed to the family likeness of the Son!”
And as I embraced that attitude of LETTING GO OF CONTROL and CALCULATED EFFORT on this run, and increased my agony by pressing hard into the hills, and disciplining my fundamentals of a foot-fall pace at 88-90 RPM no matter how much it hurt, just for the “fun” of it, to help me remember the Parable…
I pondered another Large Question.
It occurred to me that a BIG QUESTION that many ask at some point during this Journey called “life” is…
“WHY DOES GOD ALLOW” PAIN AND CRISIS TO HAPPEN TO “GOOD PEOPLE”?
Of course, we should qualify this question by saying “SO-CALLED (and generally SELF-DESCRIBED) Good People.” Honest and discerning and humble people have a somewhat different take on the topic of “themselves.”
Actually, if you understand this Truth, the question is SIMPLE to answer:
This world is NOT OUR HOME!
And it is NOT meant to be our home. We don’t belong here, if we’re Twice-Born and Genetically endued with the DNA and Wind of Heaven!
If you know yourself—and know anything about human tendencies—and know anything about YHWH, the ONE true God, then you’ll realize that He will do ANYTHING to sabotage our comfort and addiction to this present age BECAUSE HE LOVES US.
Wow. That’s a different look at it all than most take, isn’t it?
To be GRATEFUL when your finances or job or house or sport or hobby or health or time or plans are endangered? How is THAT?
Understand that you cannot SEE the Kingdom if your eyes are not seeing it through HIS Cross, and YOUR Cross!
Knowing THIS, you can understand why Abba, if He loves us and is intervening for OUR Eternal ultimate Welfare, will NOT let us become satiated or addicted or dulled by the world system, and its cares and worries and deceits without a fight!
His Intervention for you MAY come in the form of “Healing” or “Gifts” or it MAY come in the form of taking away our crutches that we might See and lean on ONLY Him, with ALL of our affections reserved jealously FOR HIM and HIS!
If we KNOW that we can ONLY “See the KINGDOM” through His Cross and by “taking up our own cross” as those “dead to the world and the world to us”—then we can REJOICE at His Majesty and His Genius and His LOVE to be willing to Intervene any way HE decides—that we may share in His Glory as we participate in His Life.
Why not EMBRACE such Gifts, whether Healing and our interpretation of “Blessing,” or the things we, with earthly eyes, might consider to be pain or failure or crisis—with the Faith of knowing that
“He IS Good and DOES Good”… ALL THE TIME …
Understand that you cannot SEE the Kingdom—if your eyes are not seeing your situations in life, ALL of them, through HIS Cross, AND YOUR Cross!
Footnote: Well now, since you’re wondering. Did I accomplish my goal on that run? How did it end?
Did I acquire my PR, my PBJ, the CR and the WR?
Well, actually, as is fitting for such a story, I was on pace—but got hit by a car with 100 meters to go! Can you believe it?!
Well, maybe I “hit” a car,
a parked car
(because I was looking at my stopwatch),
with a 100 meters to go?
OR not. :)
Actually, i DID get the PR PBJ CR WR … by 51 seconds over the 4.4 mile, 7 Kilometer course. But, of course, all things being relative as they are in this present age, it still kinda stunk. :) Oh well. I learned a lot.
And THAT’S what this “boot camp” known as “Earth”—this physical realm governed by time and gravity—is all about. “EVERYTHING” works together for that Good. We rejoice in that. :)