Yesterday we looked at Key #1 to maintaining longevity. In review, we need to let go of our mistakes from the past, learn from them and not allow them to color our present or future.
The second key in maintaining longevity is to not run ahead of God. With Labor day, coupled with the start of school for my daughter, my whole weekly schedule was thrown off a bit. I ran on Tuesday and was trying to figure out how I was going to fit running into my schedule two more times this week. I allow a day of rest in between running so that my body can repair and build itself back up. I wasn’t feeling clear direction, so I just decided to venture out the very next day anyway. As soon as I started to run, I felt a pain in my knee. I ran anyway. After a few minutes, the pain was gone and I followed what I believe was God’s direction to continuing running until I got to a certain landmark. As I reached that landmark, of my own self-will, I continued to run just a little bit further. I told myself I would go just a tiny bit further to help increase my endurance. Before I knew what happened, I had tripped over my own foot and was face down on the sidewalk. I had dirt on my face, a hole in my hand and two very bloody knees. As I got off of the ground and began to slowly walk home, I began to praise God because I know that He takes all things and uses them for good in our lives. I also think it must confuse the enemy when we are hurt, bleeding and still praising God at the same time (LOL).
Romans 8:28Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 We are assured and know that (God being a partner in their labor) all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
As I was walking, mopping up blood with my tissue and trying my best to avoid any interaction with others, a man across the street yelled out to me. He inquired with some sarcasm in his voice as to why I was now walking when he had seen me running just a few minutes prior. I cheerfully replied that I sometimes do a walk/run combo just to satisfy his need to want to suddenly be my personal trainer. He did not see that I was hurt and I was glad.
After I left him, the Lord showed me that this man was an example of how we allow “the world and its ideas” to dictate to us, when God has already given us instructions. I knew when to stop, but chose to run farther. Why? Because sometimes I think I should be at a fitness level that I have not yet attained. Even though I know I am right in line with the Holy Spirit’s fitness plan for me, I get frustrated with myself and want to do more. It is a subtle form of idolatry. If I am running ahead of God, it means that I think my way is better than His. Our way is never better than His.
How does all of this fit into maintaining longevity? How many times have you started a diet, exercise plan, marriage goal, etc and it became the main focus of your life? Did you focus on it so much that it became a form of idolatry? Did you quickly give up because you burnt yourself out? When we start something and over do it (or obsess about it), we can burn ourselves out quickly! I just love how Matthew 11:30 is worded in “The Message” version of the bible:
Matthew 11:30The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Just as looking back is a snare, so is running ahead of God. Take the time to read His word and listen to His instructions. Then you will be right in step with Him and enjoy longevity in your endeavors. I don’t know about you, but I want to walk with Him in the unforced rhythms of grace.