I. LOVE. THIS. POST.
I also NEED it.
It’s a hard combination really – loving something that you need. Most of the time, the things that give us butterflies in our stomachs and make our mouths water in anticipation are things that we don’t really need or, worse, things that actually do us a disservice. So, it’s a rare treasure for your heart to skip a beat over a person, habit, hobby, lesson or endeavor that also happens to be just what the doctor ordered.
Shundria Riddick has always had a way of making me love what I need. Her tenderness has a way of endearing you to a message that is dripping with wisdom and challenge. This insightful speaker, writer, licensed counselor, wife and mother is beautiful – the kind of beauty that seeps beyond the pores of the skin and tattoos itself on the soul.
My life is richer because of the love it/need it messages that Shundria always shares with her clients, her friends, listening audience members – whomever has ears to hear.
Every word is worth the time to read.
I showed up to meet with my running group bright and early Saturday morning. I was so excited.
It’s been awhile and I was ready to be with my people.
I’m a runner.
I started running 10 years ago. I fell in love and I haven’t stopped. Well, not all together anyway. There have been periods of time when I took breaks. Having a baby, raising kids, and life in general have made me park my shoes. But this Saturday I was ready to get back.
I left home early because I knew it was going to be crowded. I was a little anxious because I hadn’t run with a group in awhile. As I arrived, I noticed that it wasn’t as crowded as I had anticipated so I got a great parking space. This day was starting off wonderfully. I jumped out of my car and there they were!
Tables and tents were waiting to welcome me and check me in. Wait! Why are they sweaty and stretching? It’s 7:45am and the run starts at 8:00am. I saw an old friend and he asked why I was there. “To run” I responded. He said “It started at 6!”
Surely he was mistaken.
I immediately checked my email on my phone and it was right there in black and white “Starting at 6:00 am…”
I WAS TWO HOURS LATE!
My excitement quickly turned to disappointment. I actually missed the run. My people had that after-run glow and were already gathered in small groups. As I walked by I heard them talk about their pace and their plans for their next run. Ugh! I looked around and began to notice how fit everyone was. They had the latest running gear. They wore great shoes, the latest dri-fit clothing, race watches/heart monitors, ear buds (bluetooth of course) and running sunglasses. These people’s shoes haven’t been parked! They’ve been running and they are much further ahead than me. I wanted to get in my car, drive one block and let Starbucks “Soy Triple Venti Hazelnut Macchiato with Whip” take my troubles away! (Don’t judge me!)
I frantically searched and found the person in charge. She listened, consoled and said “Run Anyway!” Those words reached down inside, grabbed my spirit and shook me to my core. Her mouth was moving but it was definitely the Holy Spirit speaking to me! “You’ve felt that it was too late for you. You’ve been disappointed and felt that others are achieving their destiny and you’ve been left behind. Study Anyway! Write Anyway! RUN ANYWAY!”
So I began my run alone. I ran the same route as the other runners and was reminded that in our walk with the Lord, we compare ourselves to other believers. We are often distracted by their “gear” and become discouraged that we are not as “spiritual” or as close to the Lord as they are. They seem so much further ahead. For those of us who haven’t been walking closely with the Lord, this can be especially daunting when we decide to start again. At that time, He reassured me!
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
During the run I noticed that the hydration stations were still available. The same way He provided for the earlier geared up runners, He provided for me!
Therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:31-32)
The run confirmed that I am definitely out of shape. I couldn’t help but think of all the junk I’ve been eating lately. None of which sustained or provided me with the nourishment I needed to make it through this difficult run. Yes, all the quick prayers and missed or shortened quiet times will not sustain me through tough times in my life. (I know right! The Lord spoke the WHOLE time!)
As I ended my run, an older gentleman was running my way. His pace was slower but he looked steady and strong. He must have noticed the agony on my face. I was out of breath and about to pass out! He looked at me with a huge smile and said “You look great! Keep going!”
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (I Corinthians 1:8-9)
Let the Church say Amen!
I finished my run and went home in awe of God and His timing. I thought I went for a run with others but the Lord wanted me alone so that He could speak and I could listen. I am grateful.
Do you feel like it’s too late? Do you feel left behind? Do you feel ill-equipped or out of place? Do you feel that everyone else is either living in their destiny or closer to it than you?
He is your strength. He is your salvation. He is your provision. He is your encouragement.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Corinthians 3:17)