Each of the past two weeks I have run 20 miles, highlighted by a 9 mile trek through Lake Barrington that was magnificent. I felt really strong and averaged an 8:50 pace. My favorite part of distance training is the “emptying” feeling. When you clear your brain for an hour or so, free from frenetic thinking, and you progressively head toward fatigue, pain, and exhaustion, you can start to really unpack a lot of what is most real in your soul. I have come to both fear and anticipate what “I” look like when I am stretched, emptied, and exhausted. With all apologies to Clint Eastwood, I have consistently found the following:
The great news is that this empty-ing aspect of running is exactly what our spiritual journey should look like. We need not pursue “maturity”, “growth”, or “forming” on our own effort, with our clever devices, and comparative natures. Less of me CAN mean more of Him. But until I yield my thoughts, priorities, decisions, dreams, plans, fears, and wounds completely to Him, He cannot live more and more in me.
Empty yourself of yourself. And believe that the life God has in mind is more explosive, dynamic, magnificent, and meaningful than anything else.