About 2 months ago, I issued the first of what I said would be a series entitles “Running and Rewards”. You can find the first installment here. Hopefully that will serve as an introduction to what I’m hoping to accomplish.
I’ve finally come around to making the second installment. The reward I’m focusing on may not seem like a reward. Truthfully, my initial response to this one was more of reluctant acknowledgement, rather than joyful embracing.
Here it is: running exposes the truth about you (or at least me).
The truth revealed about me is 4-fold:
1. I’ve added a little extra fluff. Put another way, there have been some unauthorized temple modifications. In case those descriptions mean nothing to you, I’ve added a little bit of weight. Which then led to…
2. I’m not running particularly fast. I was getting frustrated that my mile times were higher than I expected. I suppose I discovered an unfortunate corollary, the higher your weight, the higher your times.
3. Because I was running at a slower speed because I’ve been carrying extra weight, running became a much more of a drain for me and on me. I looked forward to it even less. I manufactured some well thought out reasons for why I did not need to run that day, and justified stretches of days without running as being good for preventing overall wear and tear. So, in addition to being heavier and slower, I was also less motivated, and more bent on convenience.
All of those combine the real truth about myself:
4. I’m not a disciplined individual. Sure there are areas of my life where discipline reigns, but overall, I’m not particularly convinced that overall arc of my life is geared towards discipline.
That though is a reward. How gracious and kind of the Lord to allow me to see that. How gently (though still embarrassing) He revealed this truth about myself. When viewing my lack of discipline in my running schedule, it gave me a window into other areas of my life where discipline has a tenuous grasp, and where a lack of discipline has had its effect. No, it has not been fun to have to deal with the aftermath in my heart and soul. But, what if there were no warnings about my undiscipline thrown out, and what if I persisted in being undisciplined? Where do the consequences end? So, this unpleasant truth telling about my heart is a gift – it would be unloving to see someone walking into known danger, yet willingly withhold a warning. The reward in this is that I have One who is rightly diagnosing my heart and letting me know what that diagnosis. The reward is that He loves me enough to tell me the truth about myself and does not play manipulative games with my mind. The reward is that there is a gentle, yet powerful Savior who has all I need and willingly gives all of Himself to me.
It is a tough lesson to learn (according to my parents, I’ve almost always picked the difficult ways of learning lessons) but one I am grateful for.