If it’s raining outside, grab a rain jacket right?
It has officially been a week since I completed the Dallas Half Marathon with many of my running buddies. A part of my race route included running one leg of a marathon relay with some of the ladies from the Sole Patrol 5K Training Program I coached at Concord Church.
Every race comes with it’s own set of reflections and experiences. However, I feel the lesson I was meant to learn or experience took place before I left the house that morning.
I shared the same pre-race experience the other 12,000+ runners did on Sunday, December 13, 2015: RAIN. And lots of it! In all honesty, I was not excited about waking up to rain. Thinking about the year I completed the Dallas Marathon in the bitter cold (for a Texas girl) and another year in the cold rain, I knew to expect anything. So when my alarm went off at 4:30AM and I heard rain pouring down I figured I would just have to knuckle up and deal with it. Prior to leaving I prayed one more time.
“Lord, I know the earth is yours and everything in it (Psalm 24:1), including the weather. And I’m willing to run in this rain, but I don’t want to. I don’t want my friends who are running their first race to have to experience the rain either. Whatever your will is, I’m just happy to run but I sure would like it if it stopped raining before the race.”
As I gathered my things to leave, I could hear the rain coming down outside. So without even thinking I reached for my rain jacket. As I unfolded it I noticed for the first time it had vents under the arms for ventilation. I thought to myself Self, good thing you have this jacket. As I unzipped it to put it on I heard a voice in my heart say
“Why pray for the rain to stop and then put on a rain jacket?”
I froze for about five seconds but it felt like an hour. I just stared at the sturdy rain jacket that could withstand a wet half marathon and the cheap poncho made for one time use that would hold me over for the next hour or so. That’s when I felt I had my lesson for the day. That same voice spoke to my heart and said.
"Live like you trust me."
Now if you were in Dallas last week or if you participated in the race you remember the rain came to a halt around 7:40AM. The reason I know is because at 7:35AM I sat in my car in awe as I listened to chirping birds emerge from nowhere and the sky lighten in hue. The race started at 8:05AM with a little sprinkle and before I knew it the sky was a beautiful array of blues, greys, yellows, and orange. Having a rain jacket would have been a waste.
I thought about a lot of things and people during the race. But for some reason I kept coming back to the idea of what it means to pray like you know the Lord’s power versus Living like you trust the Lord’s power. Why would I proclaim God can control the weather but dress as if He can’t? As I ran that race I thought about the times I have made a “rain jacket” move in various areas of my life; pretty much pray but take precautions as if I didn’t even pray. And that’s when Proverbs 3:5-6 came alive.
Trust is not a feeling or simply something you say. Nor should trust be isolated to just one facet of my life matters. I’m learning it is a state of mind that manifests in my actions in all areas of my life.
I completed the Dallas Half Marathon strong. The life marathon continues. What a great time of the year to reflect on what areas or situations in life I need to put down the rain jacket and trust. How about you? Are there any areas of your life where you are carrying around a rain jacket for insurance? Simply put, are there any areas of your life where your actions say “Lord, I know what you can do but when it comes to this matter (or these matters), I don’t trust you.” No one would ever say that but our actions scream it from time to time.
Join me in this quest to trust the Lord with all of our heart. Let’s be all in.
In life, and in running, run on.