Thursday, 21 May 2009

Running on Empty?

I was going to write a different post today. I even had it planned out. In fact, I had a few planned out.

But today I just couldn't bring myself to write what or how I had imagined I would write. So instead, this is going to be more of a jumbled note of some of the things I've thought about this week and some of the questions and challenges those thoughts have raised...

There is less than 2 weeks left until I run my 5 miles of the Edinburgh marathon. So far I have not yet run 5 miles in one go. So you can imagine my apprehension for the big day!
I was motivated enough to go for a run by myself on Monday evening after work and while my feet were pounding/dragging along the pavements I realised a couple of things about my current approach to certain elements of my life.

I realised that I managed to go for a run because I was making time to go for a run. I planned my day to include an allowance for running time and then stretching/cooling/resting/dying after running time. But my main excuse for not reading my bible and praying more is that I don't have time.

Is that because I don't make time for it? How different would my day and my relationship with God be if I planned my day to include time to pray and study God's word? I used to do it at Uni when I had more free time but why don't I do it now?

I also recognised on the bus home before my run that the last thing I felt like doing was going for a run. But I knew that I needed to maintain some form of a training programme and so I decided that I was just going to do it. Whether I felt like it or not.
I realised again, how many times do I put of spending time with God because I don't feel like it? Because it requires effort and I can't muster any at that point? Because I have a to do list of housework and jobs that never seems to end and that often takes priority? Because its easier to get stucked into watching the tv or being distracted by other things going on?

Then my thoughts moved on a little bit, to some of the things that I often think and dream about. Some of the things that are in my heart, just waiting for the right time to be revealed and released into the world. I wondered about God's timing and when that would be and how I would know when it would be right.

Then I wondered how the two are connected. How the state of my relationship with God, and the time I spend with Him, has a direct impact on how I serve Him and the revelation of the dreams stirring inside me.

I remembered times when I have been filled with God's word, when I have taken time to study and digest it, when I have rested in His presence, when I have sought Him. I recalled how my ability to serve and lead those around me had come from an outpouring of God from me because I was taking time to allow God to pour into me. I was part of things that were beyond my own strength and capabilities and that were greater than I could dream or imagine. I was full and overflowing.

I thought about how that has changed. How I am only giving God enough time to dribble things into my life when He desperately wants to pour things into me again. How the small amount of God I am seeking is only enough to patch me up so that I can cope. When what I really want is to be overflowing so God flows through me and into those I encounter and do life with. So I don't feel half empty.

I wonder whether I am the one stalling the things of God that currently lie dormant in me. Whether by limiting the time I allow God to speak to me, challenge me, mold me, converse with me, I am limiting the work that God can do through me and with me.

It's not that I'm bad at time management, it's just that the things that should be on the top of my list, the things that should be a priority, have gradually slipped away. They have slowly but surely been choked out of my life by other 'things', by the weeds. And I don't like how it feels. I don't want to carry on like this anymore.

It's not about ticking the right boxes, or trying to keep up with the Jones. It's a desire to not let things pass me by. To not let God pass me by. To be ready and available for whenever He needs me, however He needs me. To see the fulfillment of the dreams He has placed in my heart. To bring something of His love and grace to those that need it. To see a part of His kingdom here on earth, in reality, making a difference to people.

Surely that is worth me making time for?

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