Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wait on the Lord and His Perfect Timing!

Day 11 of Janathon, and I didn't get in the workout I had planned this morning. I did still manage to get in a run, but only half what I intended.

It aggravated me when I first rolled over and saw the time was 5:06 AM, an hour and 6 minutes later than I usually rise. I had it in mind to make 6 miles this morning, but now there wasn't enough time to get them in and get to work. For just a couple of minutes, I considered staying in bed a little longer. Forget about running for today.

But this Janathon thing was whispering in my ear, "Ha ha. You're quitting aren't you? Couldn't handle it, could you? 31 workouts in 31 days too much for you?" A couple of minutes of that haunting voice taunting me was all I could stand. Up and out of the bed I came. Got dressed and decided I had time to get in 3 miles and still make it to work.

The run wasn't anything spectacular, much slower than yesterday's. I never did get to feeling good and loose either. There's just something about waking up late and starting a run later than usual. It seems once you're out of your routine, nothing wants to click.

I guess it's kind of like the engine in a car. When everything is set correctly, everything inside that engine happens at just the perfect time. Fuel injectors spray gasoline into the cylinder, intake valves allow just the right amount of air in with it, the crankshaft is pushing up on the piston and the valves are closing so just the right amount of pressure is applied to the mixture of gasoline and air, then the ignition module sends a spark into the explosive concoction at just the right instant to create the BOOM that keeps the engine turning and the wheels moving.

When all these things happen at just the proper moment, the car runs great. If they don't, it can get ugly. For instance, if that spark doesn't come when it's supposed to, at the split second it's supposed to, at best the car runs rough, spitting, sputtering, maybe even dying from time to time. At worst, it won't run at all.

If that spark doesn't happen when it should, we say the engine is "out of time," meaning everything is happening that should happen, but not in synch. The car runs rough, or won't even run.

That's kind of the way I felt this morning. Out of time. Out of synch. That extra sleep threw me out of my routine and my body just couldn't get things set right for a good run. Every step was a struggle, 3 miles of spitting and sputtering.

But out there on that run, that rough run, I realized this was an example of God's perfect timing.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: -- Ecclesiastes 3:1

I had been planning to do a 15 mile run tomorrow morning. With the 6 I had planned for this morning, that would have given me 45 for the week, the upper edge of the range I try to stay in with weekly miles. But last night I saw a group from our local running club is planning to run 17. Joining them would have put me 2 miles over.

Still, I thought, "What's two more miles?" So last night I went to bed planning 6 today and 17 tomorrow.

You see, God knows me too well. He knows I don't need to push beyond the 45 weekly miles and He knows I won't quit at 15 on Saturday if the group only has two more to go. So He intervened, keeping me asleep long enough that I had to cut this morning's run short.

God's perfect timing.
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. -- Psalm 27:14

My timing was off. It's as simple as that. But Jesus knew I'd try to push on and keep going, even if things weren't running right. So He stepped in and kept me from doing just that.

Sometimes we get trapped into thinking we have to do this or that, and even when God drops hints to tell us He has a better way, we push on with our own plan. We just have a really hard time accepting that our will isn't always God's will.

But we'd be so much better off if we could just discipline ourselves to "wait for the Lord," do things as He reveals His perfect timing. Last night when I saw the planned Saturday 17-miler, I could have decided to trim today's miles on my own. I have all idea that, if I had, I would have risen at 4 and hit the road for a much more pleasant run.

Instead, I did it my way. Stammering and sputtering the whole time. I, we, have to learn to wait on the Lord. Just wait for Him to reveal His will to us, then just step up to the plate and do it!

If we can learn to do that, we and our lives will run a lot more smoothly.


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