After about 2 miles I suddenly started feeling stronger, the annoying aches and pains were making their way to oblivion and suddenly I felt as though I could conquer anything. The dictionary says chaos is disorder and confusion. Talk about disorder and confusion, one minute I am wanting to quit running, the next minute I am feeling as if I could run forever.
|Running up Cerro San Luis trail a few years back|
Running has been good for me. Physically it has helped me control my weight, has strengthened my heart and increased my lung capacity. Within a half hour after a good run I can breathe all the way down into my toes, I feel infused with oxygen and it is a great feeling. I can do things at 68 years old that I couldn't do if I didn't have the background of running. From running I have learned to overcome setbacks. I have learned that the journey may be challenging but the end result is worth the effort. I have learned that if you truly love something you will find a way to make it part of your life despite the chaos of the ups and downs. I have learned that you cannot trust the "feelings", you have to have faith in what is, not in what you feel at a given moment.
That brings me to discipleship. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. No, I did not walk and talk with the human Jesus Christ as the original twelve disciples did, nevertheless, I am a disciple. According to the dictionary a disciple is a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. Jesus Christ was a teacher and I follow Him. 45 years ago I was gifted with salvation. I didn't earn it or deserve it, I just accepted it when I realized that the offer was open to me. Although I have been a disciple of Jesus all these years it doesn't mean that I have been the ideal disciple. Much like the gift of running I have questioned at times whether I really wanted the gift that bad. I have gone from being an assistant pastor in a church to not even going to church. During the years of my discipleship I have slipped into bad habits that should have been long gone. Yes, my discipleship has been chaotic. There have been many times when I have felt like life would be so much easier if I didn't even make the attempt to serve God. Plenty of people go through life without a relationship with God and do ok - or, at least it appears that way sometimes. For me it always comes around. When I feel like the effort may not be getting me any where I always seem to get a "second wind" and am made to realize that the privilege of serving God is worth whatever chaos may be involved. I have been given the gift of salvation and it is up to me to be the best disciple I can be. The end result, spending eternity in heaven with Jesus and the saints is well worth whatever messiness and chaos I experience. I just have to learn to have faith in what the Spirit of God has told me through the Bible and not put too much stock in what I feel at a particular moment. Yes I make mistakes, yes I shake my fist at God at times, no I do not always do what I should, yes I sometimes do what I shouldn't, but you know what, God is ok with me just as I am.