I am a runner. Well, I like to think that I am a runner. I love to do what I call running, on a treadmill. Running on the street is not my cup of tea. I have tried it, time and time again, and each time, I am quite certain that I am going to die. Thankfully, I have never died from a street run, and I have lived to tell the endless tales of shin splints from unforgiving miles of asphalt.
The thing about running, or even walking, on the treadmill, I never get anywhere. Sure, I have covered countless miles, but if we are both honest, we will both have to admit, I haven’t moved an inch. I wear myself out trying to cover as many miles as I can, and yet I have stayed perfectly in place.
While talking with my husband today, the words came to me, “Get off of the treadmill!” Now, before I lead you to think that God was talking to me about switching from treadmills to street running, let me explain. We were discussing the endless frustrations that come when we take our destinies into our own hands, without being in God’s flow or direction. We work tirelessly for years, feeling completely worn out and exasperated that we are still at the same point in life. We don’t realize that we have been on a treadmill! We were never on His path for our lives at all!
How many times have I been so frustrated with myself for still being in the same place, never growing, never learning, never changing, regardless of the hours spent in Bible studies, weeks spent in small groups, even praying countless prayers? I felt like I was spinning my wheels, wondering “Where did God go?” Turns out, He hadn’t moved, nor had I. I was on my treadmill, my life’s path, doing it my way, in my own control, praying for God to bless me in my endeavors, not asking Him to guide me to His endeavors for my life.
If we are to get off of the treadmill, and run on the paths He has created for us, “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 ESV
We must seek His direction and will for us and our lives. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 ESV “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV
As we enter this next year, I pray that we will all take a hard look at our feet. Are they plodding along miles of treadmill belt, wearing us out, trying to be in control? Or, are our feet striding across multi-terrain paths, each step well lit by His word? This year, let us get off of the treadmill!