Jul 302014
 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

My oldest daughter has had a “go to” book since she was old enough to sit up and flip pages.  This book is currently, and has for years sat on her nightstand.  We call the book, “The Dog Book”.  (Probably fairly self explanatory.)  You have a dog temperament question, you want to know what breed just walked past you, my daughter most likely will be there for you.

This next statement may sound strange to you so gear up.   I feel like I am a dog-A Bloodhound.  To be exact.  When I run.

As I train for this marathon, I feel compelled to do it without the help of an I-Pod or audio books.  Which makes some serious time left to my own thoughts, along with spending time with God.  In this journey there is one truth I have found:  Because my senses are not tuned in to music, a book, or talking to someone, they are perked up elsewhere; Making me and the Bloodhound more alike than I would like to admit.

For all of you dog lover’s and my daughter Lucy, this may be a recap for you, but for the rest of us, here is a little Bloodhound synopsis from “The Dog Breed Information Center”:

“The Bloodhound thrives on the hunt rather than the kill. It takes great pleasure in tracking and has been used to hunt animals, criminals, runaway slaves and lost children. Today this slow mannered, rich sounding breed is both tracker and companion. Although it has a pleasant temperament, it is not easy to obedience train, most likely largely due to the fact that it gets distracted from human command, more interested in all of the exciting strong smells around him.”

The ways the Bloodhound and I are alike:

  • Heightened senses of smell, sight, and sound.
  • Easily distracted by surroundings.
  • Doesn’t follow human commands.
  • Wired to find lost people.

It is crazy to notice what I am tuning into on my “free of noise” runs instead of tuning out like I normally am in the mode of doing in my day to day routine.

Eyes-I am taken back by a field of brilliant magenta flowers on my left.  A prestine, manicured lawn on my right.  A pop can where it shouldn’t be.

Ears-  The city sounds of cars whizzing by.  The “out of the city” sounds of bird songs.  The “Good job” from another runner not “tuned in”.

Nose-The city smells equalling the gaustly combination of car exhaust, Burger King, garbage and chinese food, with a hint of freshly made donuts.  The “out of the city” smells of lilacs, cow manure, and hay.

Just as the Bloodhound has difficulty following human commands and is honed in to finding the lost, so should we, as Daughter’s of The King, display these personality traits.  We follow Jesus’ commands, and not people’s commands.  Following Jesus means following Jesus.  And not other’s.  Following Jesus means doing life different.  From the typical American woman, mother, wife, employee.  From the way we respond to difficulty and trials.  From the way we interact with others.  From the way we show unconditional love.  Forgiveness.  And Compassion.

When we become too engrossed in distractions around us and forget to use our “Bloodhound” makeup, we can become tuned out to the Kingdom mindset and life.  When we have some time to be without-The noise of music, tv shows, technology, phones, Apps, Ipods/pads, facebook, Pinterest, email, online shopping/games-we remember our true selves within.  Our true identity, our true mission, our true makeup in Christ.  And our “Bloodhound”/Kingdom/Heaven focused heightened senses come out strong.  And we find ourselves in a strange place of rest.  Refreshment.  And Rejoicing.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 012014
 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:1-2a (ESV)

It’s been almost 3 weeks of running with Jesus. Three 30 min runs each week plus the “big run” (or the “too long” run as I like to call it). That adds up to 25 hours and 40 minutes of talk time.

That’s right. No I pod of music to listen to. No books on cd. No running buddy to chat with. It’s some serious quality time of viewing creation and talking with God.

I won’t say it’s been easy breezy. Because I was pretty sure I was going to pass out on the 10th hill of my “too long” 8 mile run. Felt the regret of doing too many calf raises on a cross training day. Laid down my pride and walked when my strength was gone. And have wondered countless times how I am going to really pull this marathon off in the end.

But God has been good to me. I love that in all my doubt. Fears. Weak parts. He gives strength. Peace. And purpose.

In one of our many conversations within the 25 plus hours I asked God, “What am I running for? I feel I am running in vain. Sure, it will be cool to say I have completed a marathon, but because You laid this on my heart, I believe there is more to be gained.” I thought of all the “Run to fight diabetes”, “Run for cancer research”, and the list goes on and on. People are running. Overcoming. And finishing with purpose. “I want to run with purpose.” I said. “And not just any purpose, but Your purpose.”

The phrase “Run fast” came to mind. It was definitely not the word fast having to do with speed (getting one foot in front of the other in a bouncing rhythm is about all I shoot for.) It was a biblical fast.

Go with me for a minute to understand this challenging word fast. Unger’s Bible Dictionary explains the word fast is from the Greek word nesteuo, meaning “to abstain.” Like in the book of Esther, the Jews were called to abstain from food and drink in a time of spiritual trial (Esther:4:16).

The Bible gives examples of God’s people combining fasting and prayer. King David wrote that he “humbled [him]self with fasting” (Psalm:35:13). This spiritual discipline was used and is still used to draw God’s children into deeper communion and committment to Him. It reminds us we are not self sufficient. We can be pulled to other earthly things to satisfy instead of the true source of life. Jesus.

Through the course of multiple 30 minute runs, this “Run fast” phrase was on repeat in my mind. This seemed to be God’s answer to my question, “What is my purpose for running?” I could run to “abstain from”_____, praying for the purpose of________.

I began to contemplate what I would be abstaining from: A conversation came to mind. A was talking with an acquaintance about how it is difficult to live as a mother without going into stressing, worrying mode. She said, “I know, but that is the reality of life. There is no way to live without worry and anxiety.” My heart sank. Mainly because I believe so many of us women can fall into this trap of anxiety, thinking there is no other way. But I trust God and His Word and the truth is that we do not have to live with anxiety. He desires different for His daughter’s.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 (NIV)

I wanted to live differently than the “reality” of the world’s ways. As I run, I am praying through any area of anxiety that comes to mind. I am abstaining from anxiety/worry, for the purpose of gaining peace. I am on a Run Fast. I am praying for myself and all of my sister’s in Christ as I train for and run this marathon, that there would be a breakthrough of the bondage of worry.

Join me in a Run Fast as you train for a race this summer!  More details to come my friends.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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