Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why I Quit Running

At the first sign of trouble I reached for my running shoes.

They were perfectly broken in from years of use.

Well worn.

Lightweight and supportive in all the right places.

They always took me away.

They were never far out of reach because the need could arise at any moment.

I could always see it coming long before it was there, trouble that is. There would be harsh words, silent treatment, accusations or an overwhelming sense that I did something that wasn’t quite right. It started when I was a child, but followed me into adulthood, a side effect of running.

These unhealthy patterns that caused so much grief and fear had made me a runner. Knowing I could run made me feel secure because I understood the patterns and knew how to escape. I could predict the process and avoid the outcome, except it never changed.

Running will convince you that you are going where you need to go, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Running will keep you from the solution.

A real runner will run in hazardous conditions, in my case I ran from hazardous conditions. The more hazardous the faster and farther I would run.

Relationships that went awry.

Friendships that took too much.

Boyfriends who thought more highly of themselves.

Husbands who just couldn’t let go of unhealthy behaviors.

I thought the only way to survive was to run. Some people live to run, I ran to live. I had become so stuck on survival I forgot to live.

Running was an example I followed.

Running was a solution because of the types of relationships I found myself in.

Running was always a dead end.

I remember when I first realized I was a runner and thought maybe, just maybe I didn’t have to run anymore. It was quite a revelation and I was willing to try.

Running as a default will keep you from addressing unhealthy relational patterns in you and other people. It is a great way to continue unhealthy ways of thinking, behaving and relating. It will keep you in the kinds of relationships you want to run from.
"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV
I found myself at 39 years old with four kids under the age of nine, in extreme physical pain and without a husband. He ran.

I desperately wanted to run.

For the first time I asked the Lord to make His way clear to me because although running was extremely attractive, I didn’t want to do it anymore.

You know what He did?

He spoke to my heart and gave me a choice. He gave me clear direction from His Word and I had an assurance that this time I was not running from something, but toward something.

That was six years ago and it was the single most effective thing I have ever done to overcome an unhealthy pattern in my life. Since I chose not to “run away” I had to retrain myself to “run to” instead. It was an intentional discipline, an act of my will. I'm not trying to romanticize making such a drastic change, it was hard. I wanted to run, I chose not to. Staying put and spreading my roots has been fruitful, but not without the struggle that comes from waiting for a tree to produce fruit.

A commitment to do it His way for lasting change,
rather than my way for a temporary solution.

I am learning the difference between running and choices. Accoring to they can be defined as follows:

Running - to move with haste; act quickly: to depart quickly; take to flight; flee or escape:

Choice - an alternative:an abundance or variety from which to choose: something that is preferred or preferable to others; the best part of something: the right, power, or opportunity to choose; option:

Choices are at the heart of the gospel. He chose the cross. He chose death. His choice gave life. Imagine for a second if He had run, in the garden when the cup did not pass from Him? We would not have life and life more abundantly.

Choosing Him gave me a different example to follow. Running away took me further from the life I wanted, the life He intended for me. Although, it always seemed to take me further from the problem it actually gave the problems the upper hand and reinforced the need for unhealthy relationships. 

The truth is we sometimes have to choose or others will choose to end a relationship. When our choices and decisions are an overflow of our relationship with the Father we can trust the results. More importantly we can trust Him with the outcome. Afterall, He gives us a choice.

Choices give us options.

Choices bring about change.

Choices are part of healthy relationships.

Running to Him always moves us closer to a more intimate relationship with Him. He provides peace, security and solutions. Running will take us away from everything good He has to offer and keep us stuck like a hamster on a wheel.

I have found it is a good practice to avoid anything, including running, that takes me away from Him. The fruit of running to Him, instead of running away, is peace and confidence because His promises are true.
Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:9
I quit running because the Word says I am called to abide and running, well, it couldn't be further from the truth.

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