I have a problem with pacing.
I discovered this recently when I began my 7000th attempt at learning how to run. I recently read an article on pacing and how as a new runner it was important to take walking breaks, to run a little slower and basically not beat yourself up so badly when you begin that you don’t want to return the next day and the day after that.
This insight extends far beyond my desire to run 10k after only a few weeks of running. The idea of pacing really is something I need to extend into my everyday life. I need to learn to take more breaks. Sometimes I need to slow down the speed at which I do things. Many times I should be more aware of the people around me and the pace they are able or willing to maintain.
It’s hard at times. I’m an intense, goal oriented individual who desires to make a difference where possible and contribute wherever I am. This is good/bad. In my son’s therapy it can be good as I throw myself into it 120% but sometimes when we’ve hit a season of slower growth I find myself worrying and wondering how, what or where we should go to help him move along. Sometimes speed isn’t necessary and in the last year and a half I’ve found myself learning how important it is to let ideas percolate and skills build before moving on to the next step.
It’s evident in other ways as well. At the church we attend I’m not a pastor, I’m a congregant but I volunteer and run the Church School program. We’ve gone from 3 kids to 11 in the last two years and while that is a small number to some, it’s a success story for us because there are others who float in and out who I am sure will eventually stick around. I’m thrilled for the kids as they have a small group that’s big enough to do things. They love one another and support each other as they journey in faith. Oh they bicker and complain at times but they really do know and care about where they are and what they are doing. If one misses, they are called on it. They are missed and it is made known. Because of this unit, this support that they have I find myself struggling once more with the pacing. I find myself pushing the pace just a little too hard. I want more volunteers, more support for them and if I’m honest it’s because I am worrying. I worry what will happen when I’m gone. Will it continue? What will happen to it? Who will run it? I could go on but I think you see where I am going with this.
Here’s the funny thing though. There are no plans to move. Our parents are here and we’re happy in our community. If I did happen to move to Hawaii for fun there would be more than enough time to pass it off to someone else and our church is good, someone will do it. So why do I worry? Why do I fret? I know others can do it. Why can I not let it go?
It’s part of my personality. It’s part of that type-A control freak that lives buried deep within. It’s just something I do. It’s something I do and it’s something I have to stop. Worrying is not Biblical. Worrying is not faithful. Worrying is not healthy for me.
My brother is thinking about attending Knox in the fall. He’s beginning the long and winding road towards finding out who God wants him to be within the context of the church and this week I was thinking back to the passage that God me through Seminary.
“The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 NLT
It’s such a strong verse. A convicting verse. A realization that no matter what happens, no matter where we go, what we do the seasons will continue and God will stand forever.
I need to sink into this verse once again. I need to print it and stick it everywhere. I need to acknowledge that it is not me, or you or anyone else who carries this faith. It is God who gives, who takes, who embraces and who grants. We need to lean into and latch onto whatever it is God is doing with us. We need to let go of our controlling tendencies and embrace new ways of doing things.
I’ve been listening to some podcasts lately. Podcasts by leaders across the country and there’s one thing they all seem to be saying. In order to be successful we must let go. In order for us to be truly effective, we must surrender and just be.
It is time for me to surrender or at least begin the process. And begin I shall by praying for a heart that is willing.
I’d like to thank you all for reading my blog. Because you read what I write I am motivated to continue writing and as a result I won an Award of Merit from the Associated Church Press in the category of Theological: DEVOTIONAL/INSPIRATIONAL (Short Format): All Media for my piece: His Name Was Alan. I am very grateful to you for continuing to encourage, inspire and motivate me.