So I recently started running regularly again, after a 5-ish year hiatus. Since moving to California, I have absolutely no excuse since the sun shines every day, the mornings are beautifully crisp and cool, and we live right next to miles of trails, parks, creeks, and sidewalks.
While some people are natural runners and feel rejuvenated by it, I’m actually exhausted just thinking about it. I feel pumped up for about 2 minutes, but then after that, every single step is agony. Within 5 minutes, my legs start burning, my chest tightens, and I am gasping for air, all the while wiping sweat and snot off of my face. But I persist so that I can continue to fit into my pants and because I need to be in shape for when I climb Kilimanjaro someday.
Today, I realized that running parallels my life lately — it is hard and not always fun. Not that life is difficult right now. It’s actually pretty sweet. I love where we live, husband has a great job, and I have gotten to hang out with my sister more in the past month than I have in the past 2 years. But with regards to pursuing God, finishing up my residency application, and finding purpose in each day, it is hard. It’s hard to stay motivated, hard to keep my legs moving, and hard to see the point of putting in a lot of effort.
I have been noticing, though, that running is easier if I just keep my head down and focus on taking the next step without tripping. And then I think about what will make that next step easier – taking good deep breaths, swinging my arms efficiently, keeping my tummy in and my back straight, etc. If I look at the long stretch ahead of me, I start to feel discouraged because the end seems to be too far away. But If I just think about the next step, and the next one, and the next one, before I know it, I’m at the end of my run.
So it is with God and with life. He is impressing on me lately that I don’t need to know the 10-year plan or even the 1-year plan, but only enough to take the next step. Even if I don’t see where this residency application process is headed, even if there are days when I can’t see or hear God, and even if I wake up fearing the long, lonely day stretched out ahead of me. Jesus wants me to simply follow Him, even if all I can muster is one small step at a time. Eventually He’ll lead me to where I’m supposed to be.
So….on that note, I guess I should go back to working on my personal statement now 🙂