Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:30 (The Message)
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
Very few things clear my mind better than a good run. I put in my earbuds and pound the pavement. It's just me, my thoughts, the open run and sometimes an eclectic Spotify playlist.
Over the years, I've had numerous friends approach me about being training partners for races. For the sake of the friendship, I have always politely declined. I'll throw out the typical relationship line - "it's not you...it's me." And unlike all the other breakups I encountered during my awkward adolescent years, this is 100% true.
I can fully admit I'm not a good running buddy. I am horrible with small talk in general, even more so when I'm sweating and gasping for air. Being a short stack, my running gate makes staying in sync with someone taller than me a real struggle. Either they bolt in front of me, and I chug along behind them or they pity me and jog next to me, causing me to be obsessively self-conscious.
Yet, keeping in step with another person is a walk in the park when compared to our willingness to walk with God. We want to rush ahead because His timing, from our perspective, is too slow. He plods and trudges along while we look at our circumstances and wish He would pick up the pace and start doing something.
God uses methods that defy our understanding. He hides His wisdom and only reveals it as we place our trust in Him, and that never gets experienced at a breakneck speed. God set it up so we couldn't figure out life on our own. Some of us will see this as cruel. We demand answers and proof of God's faithfulness. We want God to teach us His ways so we can get on with the rat race of life and do what He wants us to do.
The more pressure we feel, the more pressed we are to figure things out and move things ahead, even if we have to leave our running buddy in the dust. We have an almost non-stop propensity to calculate. In the face of uncertainty, we're hardwired to complete stories and close loops.
God invites us to live at the pace of a relationship governed by the speed of trust. There is a beauty that comes with this hiddenness. It's not a cruel game of "hide and seek" but rather an invitation to "come and see" or in exercise terms "let's go for a run."
Our ability to understand how God is going to do something has no bearing on His ability to do it. This frees us from calculating. Faith gets seen from the future and serves as a function of trusting and believing. We can rush and try to figure out the ending on our own or we can trust the Author of our story and enjoy the journey.
What does it mean to walk at the “speed of trust”? What makes it difficult for you to walk at this pace?
Where are you trying to rush ahead and deal with circumstances on your own?
God, may I keep in step with You today. Guide my steps and let me walk with purpose. Help me to trust Your direction, even when I can't see down the road. Let me pursue Your heart in everything I do. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.