Before my knees (and all my other joints) turned forty, I enjoyed running. During the spring and early summer, I’d jog down our country road, up the hill, past the neighboring farmhouse, around a curve and straight on until I reached the T intersection at the end of our road. Then I’d turn around and run back home, a few miles all told.
Running is definitely not my favorite form of exercise, and I can’t comfortably do it anymore, as my knees are getting a bit touchy and running seems to bother them. But what I loved about running was the point at which I felt I could go forever, that “runner’s high” that came after I was warmed up and well into the run.
Starting out was never easy. It always took me a few minutes to settle into a comfortable stride. If I had quit early on, I never would have run at all. But I learned that if I was patient with my body, eventually my feet would seem to churn away the miles all on their own. I just had to wait it out and push through the hard part.
It seems that the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was familiar with the idea of a runner’s high as well. He said,
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I think I always focused on the aspect of God as the source of our strength in this familiar verse, rather than on the waiting required. It’s tough to wait for him to answer prayer, to move in my life. I’d rather take matters into my own hands and work things through myself, as I don’t have time to slow down, to consider, to meditate. I am not a good “waiter.”
But if I want the reward of that runner’s high in my Christian life, I have to walk slowly. I have to push through the things I may not understand, and wait for God to work them out, to make his will clear. It may not be easy, but what a reward will come! If only I can wait, he promises not just to make me run faster and without fatigue–he promises to make me fly.
Do you ever find it hard to wait upon the Lord? In the busyness of life, how do you find time to connect with him?