“Run in such a way that you may win.” Though the Bible has compared the Christian life to running a race, there are some stark differences between a human race and a spiritual one. One of those is that as a child of God you do not run alone. My husband is a cross country coach, so I have learned a few things about the rules of running in a competition. One of those rules is that the coach cannot run with the athlete – to do so would disqualify the athlete. But the Christian “race” is different because God not only runs with us, but He is in us. He won’t force our feet to follow His directions, but when we submit to His leading, we will definitely follow the right path – the one that leads to life.
Recently, I was at a starting line with God, and He pointed me in the direction He wanted me to go. I “took off running” to do what He had said, but it didn’t turn out so well. Now I realize that doing what God wants does not determine whether the end result will feel good, but I knew that this bad end result wasn’t right; I didn’t know why it wasn’t right, but it just didn’t feel like it was what God had in mind. Over the next few days I took my questions to God, and one day He showed me the answer… while I was running.
On that particular morning I had gone outside to run since it was a little warmer than it had been. It was a windy day. As the wind was pushing me forward or trying to hold me back, the Lord suddenly made it clear how I had missed what He had wanted in my recent attempt to follow Him. I had seemingly left Him at the starting line. Though in reality He was with me (since He never leaves His children), I wasn’t seeking His direction on the path. Without His leading, I chose the wrong path to the end. Father showed me that I need Him, not just at the beginning, but all the way through to the end. I am now remembering to talk with God and seek His direction as I go through each day, because I know I need Him — all the way through.
As a way of driving this lesson home to my heart, I finished that run differently than I usually do when it is windy. Rather than running harder when the wind was coming at me, I let the wind have its way and slow me down. I wanted to remember that His path, the right one, is found by letting Him be the one doing the directing.