Monday, April 29, 2013


Redwoods at Henry Cowell State Park, Felton Ca...
Redwoods at Henry Cowell State Park, Felton California (Photo credit: Kevin Hayes)

SEEMS IT NEVER FAILS, if I dwell on not tripping while running, I will trip, it happened again this past week. So, I developed my own proverb; Dwell on it, and it will be done. I can run with ear-buds in place and the worship tunes cranking and I will not trip. I can be in the midst of a serious conversation with God, paying little attention to my surroundings, and I will not trip. But, dwelling on not tripping, watching for exposed roots and sneaking squirrels, and it will never fail, I will trip. I have the scraped knees and swollen wrist to prove it.
     Yes, I suppose I should stop dwelling on tripping and stick with worship songs and prayer, but sometimes I just get too caught up in trying to go faster or farther or both and down I go!  I have discovered that what is true on the running trail is true in the spiritual race I run as well.
     As followers and disciples of Jesus, the Christ, I can get so focused on not sinning, not getting tripped-up in my spiritual walk that I can often fall prey to the very things I am seeking to avoid. In my seeking to be upright and humble, I can get tripped-up by pride. In my efforts to be generous, I can turn-an-ankle on the roots of judging others. In other words, in my attempts at seeking to do everything by my own wits and prowess, I can very easily be laid flat by tripping over my own two feet.
     The key to running the spiritual life well is not found so much in watching out for self, as it is in keeping our eyes on Jesus. Once again, good old Hebrews 12:1-3 breaks through loud and clear; keep your focus on Jesus. In practical terms it means spending regular time in God’s Word, not for education but for illumination. It means filling the spaces of my daily life with conversations with God. It means learning it’s sometimes good to run with a friend, someone who can help point out the obstacles in our path.
     Dwelling with God in the Bible and prayer and fellowship, and of course in Spirit-directed worship, can go far in keeping us upright and moving forward, which is so much better than humbling “crash-n-burn” encounters along the trails of life. And, even if you do get tripped-up from time to time, just do what I do, get up as fast as you can and pray that nobody saw you!

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