Elongate your Stride

I am completely back-blogged! I have so many rolling around in my head that I can barely decide which one to put on paper today. I think, since I am starting a new work-out regiment (read: “getting off my rear after about a month of NOT working out”), I will write about running. Don’t get excited. I am NOT running today. Just a nice walk in the park. But as I have mentioned in other blogs, I used to be a runner. Or, maybe that is a little strong. I wasn’t really a “runner” per se, I just ran two half-marathons in about 2 months (mainly because one of them was a DIVA run in California for my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. I’ll do just about anything to get to California in December—even RUN). After I crossed the finish line, I quit my running career because my body was in revolt.

BUT, when I was training for said half-marathons, I started cold turkey. I went from NEVER running in August, to doing a race in October and one in December. I had to learn fast and train hard. I knew I couldn’t do this by myself. I joined a running group and did my best to copy what they were doing. They were real runners, after all. I chose a couple ladies about my age who were about my same build, plugged in my headphones and…stalked them. I would get right behind them and try to keep up with them. It’s sort of a running joke in my family that I have a very short stride. When we go to amusement parks or do any kind of walking as a family, I practically have to skip to keep up with even my “little” children. My husband instructs, “elongate your stride!” So, it goes without saying that mimicking the stride of an actual runner is a huge stretch for me. It was hard and very uncomfortable. I had to push myself.

Today, in my Oswald Chambers book, I read: “in learning to walk with God there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride…it is difficult to get into stride with God, because when we start walking with, we find He has outstripped us before we have taken three steps. He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined into His ways.” (1) Sometimes, especially at first, or when we are distracted, it is challenging to follow in His ways. Sometimes it’s like me following those runners; I start up close and manage to stay in step, but occasionally I fall behind or get out of sync with their stride or start looking at the scenery and forget that I was supposed to be following someone.

I am not sure if the girls ahead of me could sense my magnetic presence behind them. But God does. His hope is that I not only follow, but that I fall in stride right next to Him. As I followed/stalked those girls week after week, I eventually caught up, introduced myself, and we became running buddies. God longs for us to be His running buddies. God doesn’t have to prove how awesome He is by showing off (his Awesomeness is already well-established), staying just enough ahead of me to make himself look fast and me feel slow. As we “run” with God, His “Spirit alters the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and things begin to be possible which never were possible before. Getting into the STRIDE of God means nothing less than union with Himself. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don’t give in because the pain is bad just now, get on with it, and before long you will find you have a new vision and a new purpose.” (1)

On that note-I am going for a nice walk.

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