Ryan Hall wrote a book called Run the Mile You’re In. God lead me to this book at just the right moment. I first heard Mr. Hall on the John Tesh/Gib Gerard podcast Intelligence for Your Life (Episode 88 “Run for Your Life”). In his book, Hall expands on the biblical metaphor of running and life.
Each chapter is a mile of life each person has to deal with eventually. Hall uses running anecdotes to illustrate each point. One of the miles that hit home with me was the mile of Comparison. Hall shows how comparison will harm our running and, therefore, life. We compare all the time – to friends, strangers, and even ourselves. Yes, we compare to ourselves.
I was comparing two things to my former self. The comparisons were leading me dangerously into depression. I am a high functioning depressive, so I get even more busy when I am depressed. I fill my to do list with so many things, so I can’t stop to think. Then I crash. My children think it is normal for moms to come home from whatever it was they were doing and have a 3 hour nap. I assure you it is not. (Naps are good, but all things in moderation!)
I wrote out an activities list for my parents to see if they wanted to join us at any of the items. It was late May and I was writing the list to November, so there was no way it was comprehensive. I laughingly spoke of how much there was to do, but it was all “fun” stuff, so we’re good. However, seeing it in print made me realize that I was headed down a not so good path if I were not careful.
June was the relaunch of my running efforts and my comparison to the 30 year old me was concerning. I was trying hard and my mind and heart were ready, but my body was adjusting too slowly for my liking!
Also, my 6 month online dating subscription was ending. I was not going back as very little good came from it. I started to compare myself to a younger me and friends for whom that tool had worked. I felt overlooked. I truly felt invisible. I even mentioned that to friends in passing – I really didn’t intend to put myself down – but they were furious with the lies that were still in my mind and heart.
It was time to take a good look at what I was doing spiritually and emotionally to myself. Oh yah, and maybe I should remember to take my meds… So, I kept running. I am in week 7! I am proud of 41 year old me. I ran for 27 minutes today with no breaks. Not exactly half marathon ready, but my 5km in August is going to be great. I will keep going “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…” (Phil 3:13)
Yesterday and this morning there was a breakthrough. After reading Mr. Hall’s mile on learning to be un-offended (Mile 14) by how God answers prayers, I realized I had once again allowed myself to be depressed by the fact that I was trying to tell God what to do and He wasn’t listening! [insert stomped foot here]
He was listening. He never stopped. He has something so good for me I will be overwhelmed by it. I needed to stop getting so offended by the fact that when God works on a need to know basis, He doesn’t always fill me in.
I had replaced my kitchen light bulb just a few days before and it blew – badly. It was completely black inside. It was not a simple filament breaking. There was something more serious going on. I was on a ladder changing the bulb when I saw just how badly it burst, I knew that I needed to get off that ladder and spend some time praying. The evil one wanted to attack.
The girlies and I met in the living room and prayed protection around our home. When I am in a spiritual battle, it manifests in the physical realm in burned out light bulbs and electrical appliances breaking down.
This morning, I headed out for my run and began to pray. I asked God what He wanted me to dwell on in my training and in my relationship – or lack there of… I heard Him say, “Right now, your posture.”
My posture? Oh yah, I was slouching. I adjusted my posture and heard in the back of my head my yogi’s comment “heart open to the sun.” My mental light bulb went on. Of course, my heart needs to be open to the Son… I needed to be a good steward of my body and spirit. This was the need. No comparison. No offense.
As I ran, I asked God, “Ok, so as I wait for you, how will I know it’s time?” The simple answer came, “When he shows up…” So, I run. I live. I stay close to God. I am no longer burned out. I got out of the shower and felt light and airy and at peace.
I will run the mile I’m in…