Good lands, it was a tough run this morning! Physically it didn't feel that bad or like I was working that hard, but every time I looked down at my Garmin, I'd see that I was keeping a slower-than-normal pace. Maybe that's why it didn't feel like I was working that hard. haha! Obviously I wasn't! But, honestly, it felt like I was pushing as hard as I normally would on a tempo run. (FYI: Tempo run = run at as fast a pace as you can for a long distance. LOVE 'em.)
Now, I don't know about you, but I often battle this little thing called pride. It's a tiny little emotion/mindset/soul killer that creeps into almost every area of my life and tries to create separation between me and God and me and others. It keeps me focused on my self and on my performance rather than on God and His love. It's a tricky thing, this pride. And, more often than not, I don't even notice its presence until it's already taken root and done some damage.
But let's just talk for a minute about how awesome God is. He's the kind of God who can take even our sinful emotions and redeem them for good. Hallelujah! :) :) And this morning, He did that for me on the last few miles of the run.
Because my pride won't let me be at peace with a final average pace that is above 8:00/mile on a tempo run, I was forced to push myself harder on the last 2 miles than I normally would have. I had to do this in order to drop my average pace below 8 minutes. It was tough! The temperature was in the 80s already (at 6:30ish a.m.), I was facing the wind, and I was going uphill most of the way. But what this did was force me to focus, pray and push. I even got a little help from Mandisa telling me that this was only gonna make me stronger. haha! :) Praise God for iPods!
Wanna hear the awesome result? Yes, the time dropped, but that wasn't the best part. As I pushed myself harder, I began to praise God for the gift of running. As He showed me my physical strength, the run became an act of worship to Him. He had given me the gift to push myself to a certain level, and as I worked my legs to go faster, I accepted His strength and used His gift, and I praised Him the whole way home. It was amazing!
Worship certainly comes in many forms. If we look at Scripture we can see that anything we do can and should bring praise to the Lord. Colossians 3:23 is one of our favorites in FCA. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men..."
Awesome, huh? Anything and everything we do is designed to be an act of worship--a way to bring glory to the Lord who has gifted us to do whatever it is we're doing. That's one reason sin is detrimental. It takes us outside of our God-given purpose of bringing glory to Him, whereas obeying and worshipping the Lord leads us into our purpose and draws us closer to Him.
This morning, I got to watch as the Lord used what could have been a sinful emotion to lead me into a position of worship. Thank You, Jesus! I'm so crazy excited that He did that and rescued me from falling into the trap of pridefully worshipping the stopwatch and pace. (I've been there before...many times. And it is SO unfulfilling.)
Today, I want to encourage you that even if you are struggling with sinful emotions or pride, submit it to God! Be honest with Him! Don't hide it. Show it to Him and let Him transform it into something beautiful. Let Him redeem your thoughts and lead you into a deeper level of intimacy with Him.
Have a MARVELOUS day, friends! Know that our Lord loves you more than you can possibly know!
P.S. Quick book update!! The media requests have begun. Yee haw!!! For those of you in the Kansas City area, tune into KCTV 5 before you go to church on Sunday morning, August 7th at 9:50 a.m. I'm going to be on talking about the release of Sharing the Victory: Being Your Best for God. Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity! Please pray for me to be a vessel of His love and truth! :)