Faith Reflections

Running To Instead of From

I’m writing this blog post from my annual introvert intermission – a week of rest, renewal and reading gifted to me by my parents for my birthday. I’m also writing this nearly a month after my last blog post, a reflection of how crazy this past month has been and how I’ve given busyness the keys to my life.  My struggle with busyness is no different than 85% of you reading this. We are perpetually busy.  Constantly running. Overwhelmed with responsibilities and resigned to the fact that we will always be running in desperation with the bull right on our heels.

(c) Copyright Washington Post
Copyright Washington Post

That is how it seems when you are in the middle of it and all you hear is the pounding of the hooves and all you feel is the ground shaking beneath you and all you see is the sharp, marbled horns ready to toss you in the air only to be trampled among the endless stream of bull. We constantly feel like we are running away because our attention is on what is chasing us.
When I make the time to change my attention from trying to run away from something and instead to run towards Someone the relentless threat of the bulls fades away. Note: the bulls don’t miraculously fade away, just the threat of them.
I often try to pursue balance in life and, of course, fail.  I’ve come to believe that balance is a myth.  There will always be looming deadlines and long “to do” lists; books to read, bucket lists to pursue and relationships to develop. The idea that I’ll ever get caught up on these is a fool’s dream.
What I try to pursue now is holistic health. Even though I struggle to live it out, I know that true health begins in staying connected to that which gives life.  John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  A life well-lived is an overflow of a heart that is well connected.  A healthy life is a life that seeks Him above harmony.
I KNOW these things but I forget them a lot.  Especially while in the midst of the running with the bulls. Sometimes we can center our hearts again in the midst of the race.  And sometimes we need to get away with Jesus.  In his book Wild Goose Chaseauthor Mark Batterson says,

Change of place + change of pace = change of perspective

I’m putting that equation into practice this week. And it is, indeed, changing my perspective.
Not all of you can get out of town. Not all of you can change your pace in such a dramatic way. But perhaps we can give up on the pursuit of balance and instead pursue God who centers us and puts all things in perspective; a God who calls us beloved and who is Home.

O God of such truth as sweeps away all lies,
of such grace as shrivels all excuses,
come now to find us
for we have lost our selves
in a shuffle of disguises
and the rattle of empty words.
Let your Spirit move mercifully
to recreate us from
the chaos of our lives.
We have been careless
of our days,
our loves,
our gifts,
our chances ….
Our prayer is to change, O God,
not out of despair of self
but for love of you,
and for the selves we long to become
before we simply waste away.
Let your mercy move in and through us now ……
Amen.   (Ted Loder, My Heart is My Mouth)

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