Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Easy or Challenging?

I started putting $1 into a jar every time I work out when I saw this on Pinterest. 

Today was a $2 day because I ran for 39 minutes and then swam.  It usually takes me about 40 or so minutes to run 3.1 miles so I set the alarm on my phone for 20 minutes.  I turned around when it went off and ran back the way I’d come but I got back to where I started one minute early.  I’m not sure why.  That suggests I ran faster on the way back, but I was running in sand and after last night’s big storm the beach was actually pretty ugly, to tell you the truth, and there were several spots where I had to wade through water almost up to my knees so I lost a few seconds each time.  Twice I stopped to take a picture of the brilliant rainbow and the more faded one that together made a double rainbow and once I stopped to take another picture.  I figured my time would be slower with all that, but it wasn’t.  I don’t understand why I seemed to finish faster, but I’ll take it!  Anyway, my plan for after running was to change into my bathing suit and swim out to the buoy.  I decided to not change and just swim in my running clothes, a pair of cotton capri exercise pants and a tech shirt (moisture-wicking).  I know, it’s not meant to wick water away from my body when swimming.  :-)  I just didn’t feel like messing with sweaty clothes then a bathing suit in a public bathroom.  I did take my running shoes off to swim, though! 

I swam out fine, but the waves were big (as I expected after the storm) so swimming back in I drank and breathed water a couple times in the first few minutes.  I don’t like drinking and breathing water.  I changed my stroke to one that requires me to use my legs more, which is the opposite of what I wanted to do.  Running works my legs.  The swimming stroke I do works my arms while my legs rest completely.  Oh well, sometimes you have to improvise. 
I may have run faster because I had the MP3 player my daughter got me for Christmas that I just started using.  Music makes me run faster, especially when it's music like NeedToBreathe, Mandisa, Newsboys, etc.! 

At any rate, here’s what God showed me today:
There were several places where I had to actually go through water, not just run on sand.  I had to slow down to a walk because the water was sometimes about halfway to my knees and other times even higher than that.  There are times in life when you’re going along just fine but then something unexpected comes up and you have to slow your pace in order to get through.  It’s okay, though, because God (represented by the water) is there to get you through the low spots.  Of course He’s always there, but I was more conscious of Him when I went through the water.  When I got to the other side I was a little slow running again for a step or two.  It’s okay to take a while to get back in the groove.  Just keep moving. 

I wish the picture I took to illustrate this next point had turned out okay and that I was able to get it from my phone to my computer.  On my right was the Gulf, then packed sand where I was running then a long low spot of a strip of water that ran pretty much my entire distance then what would normally be dry, loose sand but because of the storm it was wet and fairly packed.  That sand was a smoother, easier surface to run on but looked sterile and boring to me. 
Most analogies have only one meaning, so don’t try to read too much into what I’ve written here.  Sometimes in life you need a smooth, easy surface and there’s nothing wrong with running there.  I’m ready to take up the challenge of not so easy surfaces, though.  (Wait…am I?  That’s a big thing to say.)  God...I...uh...don't know if I meant that the way it sounded.  I like smooth, easy surfaces.  Yes, running in (walking through) water today was fun, but do I want to transfer that to life?  I don't...ummmmm...You're in charge.  Put me on the path You want me on, whether it's easy or challenging.  I mean that. 

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