Who’s Got the Power?

This year is my seventh year of running.

SEVEN.  Count them.

7.  sept.  siete.  семь. 

 
I’d add some German in there, but let’s face it, I never learned nor really cared to learn German.
 
In that time, I’ve run 7 5Ks, 8 10Ks, 8 Half Marathons, and 3 Marathons.
 
If anyone told me years ago that I would be running races, I would have called them cray-cray.  Truthfully.  Why do I bring this up now?  In the morning I will be making dining reservations for my third Dopey Challenge.  The Dopey Challenge in and of itself is an amazing feat:  4 races over 4 days for a total of 48.6 miles.  Four 3 am wake up calls in a row.  
Yes, when one thinks of cray-cray, they normally think of someone who does something like that.  But you’d also have to know what it feels like to cross that finish line.  Or how it feels to know that you have achieved another personal best, like the fastest mile or 5K or 10K or the longest run to date.  And you’d have to know what that solitude is like.
I think some of my best times with God have been during the solitude of long runs in preparation for a marathon.  It’s then that I am able to clear my mind and think about the amazing things that our bodies can do.  I mean, y’all, I’m over 40.  And I’m running marathons.  And you know, all of this was planned by God.  Before I knew I was going to run a marathon, He knew it.  He knew that I would have ups and downs.  He knew that there would be times when my purpose in running was clearly for Him and when I was doing it all for my glory instead of His.
And you know what?  Almost every time I’ve done this for myself and not for Him, something has gotten in the way.
I’m reminded of one of my favorite LeCrae songs, here, “Power Trip”.  In the song he has lines like
“Well, I’m a genius in my dreams
Even if I was, it was stitched inside my genes
I’m self-inflated, self-infatuated
And somehow I convinced myself I finally made it
The truth is I was made like the mob
Geppetto put me together; my strings lead to God
Pride come befo’ the fall, I seen it in the script
So if you see me fallin’, prolly a power trip”
I can admit that sometimes I have been prideful and each time, I have fallen down miserably. . .
“Who made the crowd put they hands in the sky? Me.
Who made the sky with they hands? What if y’all can’t see?
This is kinda strange, God makes the weather change
And we braggin’ up on our change like “look how we make it rain!”
We Invictus, this sin sickness is in us
Running amuck and causing that mischief, tell me this then, “Who could really fix us up?”
I’m, trippin’ to think that I’m really not limited in this position I’m sitting in,
Gravity pulling me back to earth gradually, reality’s hittin’
(Who’s got the power?)”
So my question is this, who has the power in your life?  Are you letting God lead you where He needs you to go, or do you try to take control and let it “run amuck”?  I think we all are guilty of allowing other things, specifically our pride, get in the way of our journeys in life.  But my question is this:  in the end, who really does have the power?  Is it you?  Can you control everything that happens in your life?
Eight years ago, I would have never told you I would be running marathons.  I certainly would not have told you that I was thinking of a 50-miler for my 50th birthday.  Do I know that I can do it?  No.  I don’t really know that I will be able to run that Dopey Challenge in January.  There is one reality, though, my strings indeed do lead to God.  He directs every path.  He will either lead me through or He will give me another thing to do for Him.  He has control of it all.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well
.
              –Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
March, 2011, Just after my first 5K.Mar 19 2011 013
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A Rededication

In 2012, I was running like the wind.  Every run I did was dedicated to the Lord, and while I knew I wasn’t perfect, I was giving God all the glory for what I was doing.  I don’t know why, but that ended.

I don’t know exactly when it ended, but I know why.  At some time I stopped giving God the glory and I was giving myself the glory.  It starts with people telling me over and over again that I was inspiring to them.  That they couldn’t do what I did.  My answer changed from, “God is guiding my steps” to “I really have to train a lot.”  This change doesn’t happen quickly.  To copy the line from the Christian pop group, Casting Crowns, it’s a slow fade.

The words of the hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing tells us that we all will struggle with this type of fade:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;

Which leads me to this. . .my hope is built on nothing less than the promises God has given me.  As I lace up my shoes and step out the door, I will rededicate my running to the One who created everything of beauty I see and gives me the ability to move step by step.  I wish to be able to say:

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.(James 1:17)