Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reflections from the Life of a Runner... Part II

“On the days 
I felt the least like
going to practice, 

I ran the fastest times.”

The human psyche (soul: mind, emotions, & will) is absolutely amazing to me! Of all the lessons regarding life and spirituality, this one has been a definite keeper.  Two thoughts: one, on the days I least wanted to go train, I ended up producing the best results and running the fastest times. I still have vivid pictures in my mind of this reality.  It would be mid-afternoon, and I could be found doing what I loved most to do…take a nap.  I was often done with classes around 2:00, which left me a good hour to nap before Cross Country practice at 3:30pm.  On more occasions than I can remember, I would wake up to the alarm clock around 3:00 o’clock. I would wake up in a daze, my body stiff and my comforter softer than ever. I DID NOT want to go to practice. I could imagine myself remaining in bed until the next day. My body, my mind, and my emotions were dead set against me getting up and going to practice.  There was one miner problem, I signed a scholarship contractual agreement thus simply not showing up for practice wasn’t exactly an option. 
I would grumble my way out of bed, share my intense lack of desire to be a practice with my roommate (who was also on the team), and then the most amazing thing would happen. Half way through practice my body began producing results that I did not expect it to produce just ninety minutes earlier. In other words, I would run the hardest and fastest times.  And when practice was over, I had full energy, fully amazed at the times I had just run, and in awe of how “good” I felt. At the end of the day, there was one concrete conclusion I came to again and again…”My feelings lie!”
How often, in our spiritual life in Christ do we simply “not feel” like doing something. We don’t feel like praying. We don’t feel like reading Scripture. We do feel like waiting in the long line at the grocery store, and we definitely don’t feel like stand behind the person with 12 items in the 10 item line. We don’t feel like serving our spouse, or co-worker. And, please! I don’t feel like committing to another night, afternoon, or Saturday morning. 
Just as with my “super-duper-power-napping” afternoons, we can think of numerous reasons that validate and support our feelings. But the lesson I’ve learned in the training days has been a powerful one.  For, many have been the days in my walk with God that I’ve not “felt” like doing something and had numerous reasons to support and validate, yet many, if not all of those reasons are founded in the feeling itself, which I discovered…was A LIE, mostly rooted in my selfishness.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is get up and go. Do that which we know to be truth, and the “feelings” will more often than not, follow shortly along.
“If what you believe does not reflect truth, 
then what you feel does not reflect reality.” 
(Neil Anderson, Victory Over the Darkness)

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