Heart in the Clouds

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Running with a Guide

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go..."Proverbs 3 MSG
There are times I just don't "get it." I don't get people. I don't get why the world is the way it is. I don't get where I fit in the grand scheme of things, or even on a small scale sometimes. I don't get what my purpose is. Lots of times, I don't even get myself and why my mind works the way it does.
But the nice thing about trust is that I don't have to "get it." I don't have to figure everything out (even though I hate surprises and not having things figured out). If I really think about it, what is trust? Trust is allowing myself to let go of the "whys" and the "hows" and the "whens." I'm so not good at that, but trust is a process for me.
I recently saw a video of visually impaired sprinters in the Paralympic Games. Each one had a guide--a person who ran alongside them and kept them in the correct lane as they sprinted full-speed without being able to see where they were going.What level of trust must you have in a person to guide you while you are sprinting in the dark? One of the runners, David Brown, said, "My guide is pretty much my eyes, and he's like the voice in my head." 
The metaphor of the whole thing struck me. I'm going into this race of life visually impaired. I'm trying to see everything through my filter, which is often clouded and dark. I have no idea what's ahead. I have no idea where the finish line is. All I know is the voice of my Guide. All I know is that He can see what's ahead and that He'll guide me to the finish. He's running alongside me, giving me constant gentle nudges and cues, letting me know He's there and that I'm not alone. What happens if I don't trust Him? I don't finish. I don't see the race to its end. I don't go in the direction I need to go.
I'm the first to admit that I'm not good at listening to the Guide. He's always speaking and leading, but I'm not always paying attention. But I want to. I want to be that person who can just sprint full-speed, knowing that God, my Guide, is vigilant and is always there next to me.
So if you're going through a time in your life where you feel like you're trying to feel your way around in the dark, start to listen for the quiet voice of The Guide. Don't listen to the cheering or the booing of the crowd. Don't listen to your fears. Don't listen to the "I can't" in your own head. Trust and start running. You're not alone.

(This is a photo I took of Kim Russell, a hardcore ultrarunner, whom I had the privilege of pacing on the Laurel Highlands 70-Mile Race last year. It was such a lesson to me to watch her keep moving, despite her exhaustion and her body fighting against her in the last miles. She finished under her goal time because she was able to tune out the discomfort. The perseverance required to do the longer distances, pushing past the mental aspect of a long race and your body's desire to quit, is something I hope to learn.)