these next eight days my aunt and I will be doing something very special. we will be writing and posting on each others blog. she was the one to inspire me to want to write. she showed me what it meant to follow a calling on my life…. no matter how scary. she has taught me the majority of what i know and she has encouraged me through the toughest of days. she has more insight than any other thirty year old woman I know. please enjoy her brilliant insight and maturity and make sure to go subscribe to her blog! www.carabowen.org
The early morning rays danced across the still waterline on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. I’ve never seen a body of water so tranquil…so serene. The body of water is surrounded by jagged edges of rock standing thousands of feet and capped with snow.
For the last couple of months, I have been training for 2 half marathons. It’s been something I’ve come to love, not everyday, but most days. Some days it takes every ounce of strength I have to get my feet to the pavement, but other days I wake up ready for the run. This morning waking up at 6:30 to run wasn’t the first choice for my jet-lagged body. But as my brother and I began to pace around Lake Lucerne, my mind cleared of everything that had been filling my thoughts. Exhaustion, worry, concerns and even excitements for some things to come- everything left with each mile. My mind, body and soul felt as tranquil as the water wading beside me. It reminded me why I fell in love with running in the first place.
Running typically has a negative connotation… running from pain, running from anything making us uncomfortable, running from a place, someone or a situation. But running these past couple of months has shown me another side to running. This morning, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Alps as we ran. They made me realize how strong I feel. Physically and emotionally. These mountains are exquisite and strong. Beautifully bold.
Strong enough to handle anything that comes and fragile enough to be open to whatever God wills to come.
Strong enough to enter into the present emotions and fragile enough to allow myself to feel the present emotions.
Strong enough to lay everything down before Jesus and fragile enough to lay my heart before Jesus.
There has been so much going on lately- moving, getting ready for a new job, taking full time classes in my Masters program- most days I am just trying to keep up with my day-to-day life. But running has given me an escape. I think, pray, dream, process… it is my time. And I think in a lot of ways God meets me on those runs. I think He strengths my heart, mind and soul as my body strengthens for the races coming up.
God became my distraction.
I think we are all running to something and running from something- and in the same way, we are escaping to and escaping from. What those things are is what makes all the difference. Running to the right thing can bring immense healing, freedom and rest.
Later in the day, we took a train to a neighboring town. We passed through pastures and valleys with the towering mountains never leaving our sight. Sheep, goats and cows filled the mountainsides. Cottages tucked in between rocks and cliffs looked so snug and undisturbed. Even with as crazy as life has been, I still feel like those cottages. Snug, tucked and undisturbed by the jagged edges all around me. Maybe even falling rocks around me, but I am secure. Held together by the foundation of mountainous rock that didn’t just happen over night.
No body does anything worth doing over night. Including us. I didn’t start trusting that Jesus was enough overnight. I didn’t set out to run13 miles over night. It’s laying a foundation of truth with Jesus each day, and taking it mile by mile.
I think a lot of us land on one of two sides of perception: we either invalidate our perception or over validate our perception.The former looks like us downplaying how we feel about something, a situation or what we desire. The latter looks like us focusing on ourselves too much, disregarding anything outside of us.
Sometimes realties are hard… becoming the something we want to run from. But there is still something so beautiful and freeing about running through those harsh realities. Running through harsh and hard realities still hurts. Still requires courage, presence and allowing the bigger reality of Jesus’ truth to strengthen you with each pounding of the pavement.
The beauty you can offer to the world is depending on whatever is in your line of sight.
It is depending on whatever it is you’re carrying while you run. You’ll offer the world pride, if you’re carrying your own self-ambition. You’ll offer the world greed, if your line of sight is prestige. But you’ll offer the world hope, if your line of sight is heaven. You’ll offer the world love, if you’re carrying God who is love.
The world needs what you are carrying. But make it something worth carrying. Lets carry Jesus, sit secure on the cliff and enjoy the view.
There is a video by John Piper on running that has meant a lot to me lately check it out here