I am writing this post as an ex-runner. I use to run and it served me some good until one day I realized how unhealthy it had made me over the many years. I was a runner, but I no longer run anymore because I found that not running made me even stronger.
I use to run but not any more.
I use to run when things did not go my way. I use to run when someone hurt me. I use to run when I would be rejected. I use to run when I would be neglected. I use to run when where I was, love wasn’t. I use to run when anything would try to move me out of my comfort zone. I use to run when my pride and ego were at stake of being tampered with.
I use to run but not any more.
I finally came to the realization that I was a runner when one day God stopped me dead in my tracks and told me to STOP RUNNING and instead stand up to what was making me fearful. To be more specific, I was an avid runner when it came to relationships. At the slightest sight of pain or rejection I would run. If I was dating a guy and he hurt me then I would do all that I could to get as far away from him as possible physically, mentally, and emotionally. I would delete texts, posts, pictures, etc…and I would be sure as to not be anywhere where I could potentially run into him. This is a runner and the more I ran the unhealthier I became.
In my experiences I have realized 3 reasons why running is not healthy for us:
1) The more you run, the more weight you are putting on:
The more I ran the more I piled on years and years of hurt. By running I thought I was doing myself a favor but it was in actuality a huge disservice. I wasn’t healing my heart faster by running away as fast as I could, I was simply putting band aids on 3rd degree burns and deep gashes in my heart and soul. My thinking was, “Out of site…out of mind!” I personally have found that to be false because the moment something or someone new picks at that same old wound of fear or rejection, that is the very moment all of the things that we failed to deal with resurfaces.
The more weight you carry the harder it is to run. The harder it is to run the more difficult it will be for you to continue to press forward. The more difficult it is for you to press forward the more likely you will be to give up. Don’t give up…lose weight. (“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”- Hebrews 12:1 NIV)
Take off the bandages and expose your wounds to Christ and allow him to heal you and to help you lose weight. He has the best regimen when it comes to lightening your load.
2) The more you run the weaker you get and the more power you are giving to your opponent
In an undergraduate chemistry course we conducted an experiment during lab. I forget the specifics of this experiment but I do recall that one thing we had to do was get on this cycling machine and we had to peddle hard and consistently to get the proper results we wanted. If we stopped pedaling then we would stop generating power, thus messing up our experiment. I really did not like this experiment because my legs became very fatigue quickly.
That is the way fear works. The more we focus on it and give it all of our attention then the more we feed it and give it more and more power. However, the moment we stop giving power to it then that very moment is when it loses its strength and is weakened. Our faith is the fuel needed to please God and it stimulates Him to move. Our fear is the fuel needed to give satan access and permission to move in our lives. The more we run with fear the more we are feeding the energy of satan.
We must stand still before God and allow Him to provide us the strength and grace to face what we otherwise would not be able to. (“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” –Psalm 46:10)
3) The more you run the less stamina & resilience you have
I thought that I was being very strong and resilient by quickly getting over what had hurt me. I was wrong; by “getting over something” too quickly without dealing with the negative feelings associated with it was not “strength” it was actually weakness and the fear of facing the very thing that hurt me. I have found that strength and resilience is not determined in how quick you can get out of God testing you but how long you can stay in and still make it out stronger than you went in!
When you lift weights in the gym your strength comes by actually picking up the weights and being able to do several reps many times and continuing throughout the week. The more you lift then the stronger you will get. Running from what scares you and running when you should stay put in a trial, is symbolic of you putting down the “dumbbells” of your trial and giving up the opportunity gain strength.
The longer you can hang in there and finish, the stronger you will be. Exiting a test too soon will render your performance as incomplete. Finish the course work that He has allowed to make you stronger for what is ahead. (“If you falter in times of trouble,how small is your strength! – Proverbs 24:10 NIV)
I use to run…but not anymore. I have chosen to become a healthier person by not running, picking up the weights, and doing the necessary reps to see the results that I desire.
[Disclaimer: If you have not noticed yet, I am not talking about physically running but spiritually running]
∆ Phone God: Dear God, I have realized that in many areas in my life I have been a runner. I have allowed the fear of rejection, neglect, abandonment, pain, and the thought of being uncomfortable to keep me from learning what it is that you desire for me to learn. Help me to stop and turn to you for the strength that I need. Give me the grace needed to endure through this moment in my life. I ask that you wrap your loving arms around me as I take off the band aids of all my past wounds and I pray that you will comfort me as we explore these hurts together. I thank you that you are helping me to be a healthier person spiritually. I love you always and forever.
∆ Chew on this:
- “If you falter in times of trouble,how small is your strength!” – Proverbs 24:10 NIV
- “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:4
- “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:1-5
∆ Ponder on this:
- What have you not dealt with in your life that is too painful to face?
- How has running from that thing affected your life socially, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually?
- What do you plan to do about it?