I’m not a runner. Never have been, never will be. My brief stint in high school track proved that I was neither fast, nor could I run long distance. I actually considered taking up jogging recently just to get some much-needed exercise. But the thought of putting my old, worn-out, broken-down, arthritic body through the literal pounding of the pavement quickly shot that idea down. I flat out don’t like to run.
As emphatically as I make that statement, however, I almost feel like I need to clarify. Truth is, I am a runner. I run from problems. I run from discomfort. I run from issues that need my full attention. I run from priorities. I run from conflict. I flat out run. And you probably do too.
Why do we do this?
- By running we keep in constant motion and don’t slow down long enough to have to deal with reality.
- We run because avoidance is our middle name.
- We run because stopping means confronting. It means having the conversation, making the phone call, looking the problem in the eye, admitting fault, pinpointing weakness, hearing the diagnosis, and/or conceding control.
- We run because fear is fuel and comfort is king.
We strive to make things better. We work towards improvement. We long for peace, for better, for more even-keel. We long for these things, we constantly contend for these things but we do it while on the run. We seek and strive while we race.
Here’s the thing: In our running we sometimes are deceived into believing this is the solution. Somehow we think that it’s in the running that we will be rescued.
Oh, how I wish it were true. But, as they say, au contraire mon fraire.
Check out what the prophet Isaiah writes: This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses…We will ride off on swift horses’” (Isaiah 30:15-16).
God is pretty clear here. But, yet…we insist on running. We determine to flee.
A friend of mine just ran her first marathon. Yeah, MAR-A-THON. That’s like 27 long miles. Yuck! And folks like her just love to go out for a good run. They say it’s exhilarating. It’s refreshing. It gets the blood flowing and the heart pumping.
But in the road race of life, maybe it’s time for a good rest instead. Some repentance. A little quietness. A bit of trust. And…(wait for it)…even some waiting.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, He will rise up to show you compassion…Blessed are all who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).