Monday, January 26, 2015

Treadmills, TDs, and Trust

Perhaps this video is an accurate representation of how you feel at the beginning of a semester - I know that this, at least, is how I feel in mid-January, almost every year. Somehow, I never fail to feel behind when everything is just starting up.  I feel like I'm jumping on an already moving treadmill and - like the poor girl above - I get tossed right off, flailing about.

This feeling seems to sit in direct tension with one of my favorite quotes from any movie ever. If you haven't watched Remember the Titans, please go do so now. Anyway, in this cinematic masterpiece, Gary Bertier says, "Listen, when something unexpected comes, you just gotta pick it up and run with it."

I never expect semesters to start, progress, and end the way they do. I never expect my week to start, progress, and end the way it does. I never even expect my day to start, progress, and end the way it does. Sometimes I feel like I absolutely cannot get started on that treadmill. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of unexpected things flying at me, and I want to yell at Gary Bertier that we don't all have the hands of Dez Bryant, and I can't pick up All. Of. This. Stuff!

But Saturday morning, I was reminded of a scripture I've known for a long time, though now I feel like I've read it in a new way.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (I have this resistance to "coffee cup" verses a lot of the time which is dumb because the reason they're on coffee cups is because they're awesome. So...) I spent some time with these verses. This is what I see:

  • I possess the ability for trust and acknowledgement. God possesses understanding and direction (along with a billion other things).  
  • What if I trusted and acknowledged and leaned on my Lord instead of myself? I think that treadmill might start to seem a bit more manageable.  I think I would be able to pick up a few more things but also know when to let some other things go.
  • What if when life got unexpected, when I felt a little wobbly, I ran with Jesus instead of away from Him? I don't know why this has seemed like such a novel idea to me recently. But all of this talk of paths reminded me of another verse, Psalm 119:32.  "I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!" I first learned this verse in the NIV translation which says, "I run in the path of your commands," but I like the ESV's emphasis on God's enlarging of our hearts which, remember Proverbs, is where our trust in the Lord pours out of.

I don't think I'll ever live my life in a totally spontaneous, totally flexible way. That's just not who I am. I won't be able to catch all of those unexpected passes that Gary Bertier alludes to (my dad always said I'd be more of a linebacker than a wide receiver anyway).  But I also think that, if I trust and acknowledge that God has and grants me understanding and direction, then I'll spend less time frantically running to keep up with a fast moving world.  And maybe my heart will grow because of trust and not because I'm out of breath.

Peace and blessings, y'all!

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