Sunday, July 21, 2013

iPhone vs. iSpirit

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
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I HAVE THIS APP for my iPhone that is supposed to help me while I am running. It’s supposed to keep record of my pace, distance, time, and if I upgraded, a number of other elements of my attempts at staying fit.

It’s even got this female voice that announces to all within 100 feet how many miles I run, what my pace is, how many calories I’ve burned, and of course the all-important time of day so that I will not be late for dinner.  The problem is that this app is not very consistent, or so I thought. It would give me my first mile pace at 11:15, which is a nice pace for me, but when I got to mile two she announces my pace at 16:00 minutes per mile! WHAT!?!

I know that my first mile is always slower because I have to run UP out of my neighborhood, and my second mile is smoother, even with some down-hill, so my pace must be better. After numerous attempts of reprogramming the app (Shy of throwing the phone in the San Lorenzo River) I have discovered that the app does not give my over-all pace, only the pace at that moment, which is slower because I inadvertently slow down when the pace buzzer goes off! My female-voice-friend can only alert me to my current speed, not my overall progress. I guess there’s a reason why it’s a free app.

Running provides for me a moving metaphor for my spiritual life. Some of you may ask me why I keep using the app if I am unhappy with it? The answer is that I need the encouragement along the way, faulty as it may be, to help me stay on track. And yes, when I hear her say, “Pace, 16:00 per mile,” I do pick up the pace, and we ain’t talking picante sauce!

The Holy Spirit is to be our constant encourager as we run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1-3). But unlike my iPhone app the Holy Spirit gives me a truthful accounting of how I am doing. Now here’s the rub: we can more easily hear the Spirit when we slow down enough to listen. Yes, I realize we don’t like slowing down, but true assessment can only come as we stop and take time to open the Word of God, to sit in contemplative prayer, to Sabbath with the Lord.

How’s your pace today?
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