Wednesday was a setback for me. Or at least I thought. I was running on the treadmill to avoid the cold, wind, rain, and darkness. One minute, my steps felt fine, the next…shooting pain in my knee. I stopped my workout about three miles early and went home feeling down.
But let me tell you something that I didn’t realize at the time… I needed that “setback.”
Somehow, Christmas has snuck up on me this year. We popped right out of Thanksgiving week tired and under the stark realization that we actually only have two and half weeks to get all of our pre-christmas activities complete. We’re traveling to visit family for the holidays and it’s taken out some of our usual time we get to get things done.
Ladies (but gentlemen, too) can probably relate that somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas you suddenly don’t have all the gifts you thought had covered and stockings won’t just fill themselves. The tree won’t decorate itself and the post-Thanksgiving dishes never seem to end. Seriously, where did I get all of these dishes? I have several sets of sheets and blankets to wash and I’m still so behind on laundry. There are socks that I’m sure will only find their mates once I’ve done every last item in my laundry hamper. I’ve got Christmas events to attend, cookies to bake, and every stinking store seems to have a line twice as long as it was two weeks ago.
Here’s the thing…amid all of that, I was exhausted. But I’m a girl committed to a goal, and skipping a workout felt like a cop out.
This past Thursday, I went to Christmas in Wallingford at my church. We had a lovely lady who spoke to us. After thinking about it for a while today, I couldn’t help but realize why I just might have been hurting on Wednesday. The speaker talked about how the book of Psalm says that “he maketh me lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside still waters.” In a season in which we can become so busy and lose focus on the true purpose of the season, he (God) offers us rest. Then she said that sometimes we don’t take him up on the rest. She said the passage says he “maketh us” lie down and rest. If we won’t take a gentle suggestion that maybe we need it….he makes us. Once again, he who created me knows my needs greater than I. (My mom is reading this and thinking of all those naps I fought so hard when I was preschool age, I garauntee it.)
As I was trying so hard today to figure out how I was running ten miles with no pain when only days ago, two miles was near impossible, something occurred to me. He was “maketh-ing” me rest and remember why I’m doing this in the first place. He didn’t want to cripple me, he wanted me to take a day to slow down and remember that this isn’t about my fast time or how many work outs I can obsessively squeeze in. This is about my goal of getting to the Dominican for a mission trip, and God will make a way that 5 miles on a Wednesday night cannot.
As we roll into Christmas, may we all soak a little more rest in Advent and a little less stress in commercialism and keeping up with the Joneses.
Until next week,