This morning, even though I had intended to sleep in, my body clock woke me up for our Saturday morning run. 10 miles was on the plan. My BFF was at the park without me. It was all I could do not to cry.
So I reached over and opened up my Kindle, and flicked on the little reading light that I bought, and opened up a book that I've been reading for the last month or so - A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller. Prayer is been something I have struggled with as long as I have been a Believer, and this book was recommended to me by at least 4 completely separate people (meaning that these people are from different parts of my life - they don't even know each other!).
I have been a little concerned through this knee thing that praying to God that He would heal my knee and allow me to run these races is "wrong" and "unChristian." Shouldn't I just pray for His will? Well, I was delighted to read in this book this morning that it's OK to ask for what I want, and in fact, God wants me to do that - to be real with Him. It just needs to be balanced with surrendering to His will.
"Christians rush to 'not my will but yours be done' without first expressing their hearts. They submit so quickly that they disappear. Overspiritualizing prayer supresses our natural desire that our house not be burning [this is relating to an example earlier in this section]. When we stop being ourselves with God, we are no longer in real conversation with God."
and later in the chapter, the author sums it up: "Desire and surrender are the perfect balance to prayer."
So often I have remarked that I don't hear God when I pray and that makes it hard to pray. I have been trying to do better in listening for whispers from God. And today, while I was reading during the time I would/should have been running, I read this quote:
"If you were to look at a photo album of his [Jesus'] life, you would not see him with the best and the brightest but with the low and the slow."
The emphasis was mine... because one of my mantras in running has been something I learned from The Penguin: Low and Slow. When I am in training, I fall back on keeping my feet low to the ground and moving slowly forward. In fact, both my husband and my BFF have replied to me this week when I told them how worried I am about my knee - "Low and Slow, Jen."
Even though I know the author's use of the words "low and slow" don't have the same connotation as they do in my running life, I can't help but believe that it is a Whisper from my Lord telling me that He is with me!
And now, off to Stretch and Ice. :)