Now, I am not a morning person. At all! That is why I workout in the evenings. I used to workout with someone who was a morning person and did his workout as soon as he finished his morning prayers. I enjoyed the together part so I did it, but I HATED working out in the morning. My body just doesn't like to move that fast in the mornings! It wants to be fully awake and it does that slowly! So, when it became clear that the together part was over, my broken heart and ecstatic body went back to evening workouts.
But this morning, I woke feeling really down so I decided to walk early for the endorphin rush. Off I went, my body saying, "Huh??? What are you doing?" I pushed myself to go my normal pace, but even before my adorable phone app made its first five minute announcement of my distance and current pace, I knew I was off. So I pushed harder, tried to make my body go faster. Its response? "DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS????????" But I kept pushing.
In every walk, their comes that point when I wonder if it's really that big a deal to go the whole distance. Normally, I hit that spot somewhere between 1.5 and two miles. You
know. That point where I really don't have a choice any more - thankfully! Stopping is not an option. I'm in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the road, surrounded by weeds. Turning around won't help, it is just as far, or farther, to go back at that point, there are no fewer hills, and the "big one" is part of my second double back so I will have it to climb either way. So I push forward. At about 3/4 of a mile into my current route, I complete my first double back and pass my street again. Today, that's where I first wondered. But those endorphins. I ignored my body screaming "GO! HOME! GO! HOME! GO! HOME!" and kept pushing. About 1.3 miles in, I face my steepest, longest climb. I wondered again. I kept on going.
Meanwhile, my pace tracker app kept announcing my distance and pace every five minutes. Still off - by more than a minute. I push harder. At one point, it felt like I was trudging rather than walking. I pushed harder.
It was right then that The Lord spoke.
"My love, why is it good that you are off pace?"
"Huh? It's not! I'm trying to catch up, push harder!"
"Did I ask you to push harder?"
"Um, well, no, but I should......"
"No, My love, I am trying to teach you something this morning."
"Another lesson, Lord? Really? Do I really have to learn another lesson?"
"Yes, My child, you do. Why is it good that you are off pace?"
"Sigh. I know, 'Give thanks in all circumstances.'"
"Yes, you should do that. But that is not what I am trying to teach you this morning. Why is it good that you are off pace?"
"Sigh. Okay, Father, I'll think about it. Well, it will take more time for me to complete my walk. More sunshine and vitamin D." (I am vitamin D deficient)
"Good. What else."
"More? Sigh. Longer to pump endorphins?"
"Good. What else?"
"Longer to sweat out toxins?"
"Yes. What else?"
"Longer to work my arms, additional strength and toning. Changing up my walking style since my pace is off so that I am lunging more, working a whole different set of muscles harder than normal."
"Excellent. What else?"
"A slower pace lets me observe more of the beauty around me. Things I hadn't noticed on my head-down-focused-on-pace walks."
"Excellent. Apply these things to your life, My love. You laid a route, set a pace, and have been upset that I have taken you outside that route and pace."
(Head cocked to one side, eyebrow raised) "Yes, Lord, I have been upset. Very!"
"You have pushed. Tried to force the pace. Set the goal yourself. Tried to force the path to bend and curve, climb, descend, and have flat resting stretches where you felt they were needed."
(Head hung) "Yes, Father, I have."
"Do you believe I love you? Have your best interest in mind? Know what is best for you?"
"Then let Me set the path. Let Me place the difficult terrain where it needs to be. Let Me give you the flat path when I know you need the rest. Let Me work the muscles harder that need to be worked. Let Me sweat out the toxins of this world from your spirit and give you spiritual health. Let Me give you the emotions I want you to have - and remove them in My time. Let Me shine the light of my glory and grace on you. You will reach the goal - Heaven, service to Me - much more efficiently if you do!"
"Oh, Daddy God! I never thought of it that way! I trust You, Lord! I will let You set the pace! I will let You form the path! Thank You for showing me!"
"...and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times."~~Ephesians 1:8 TLB~~