This morning was just beautiful, but I almost missed it.
I didn’t want to wake up. My wife, bless her heart, kept trying to get me up and out of bed to go for a run.
“You know you’re not going to want to run later…”
She was right.
“But I don’t want to run now, either.”
I started out at what seemed to me a snail’s pace and found it so difficult to get my awkward legs moving together well. I felt like I was learning how to walk all over again… except I was walking at a rather fast speed. I suppose it should be called “running”, but it didn’t feel much like running. It felt more like falling forward.
I was about a mile and a half into my run when I realized that this had to have been my most uninspiring run to date. My heart just was not into it.
Realizing the state of my heart, I stopped following it and started leading it instead.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)
About this time of year there are countless graduation ceremonies in which someone will inevitably stand up and offer what they think to be great advice. It will sound something like this:
“Follow your heart!”
Does that sound like good advice to you? Should we really follow the very thing that the Bible describes as deceitful above all things… and desperately sick!?
I’m going with no.
Please. Don’t follow your heart. Lead your heart. Do the right thing, and tell your heart to join you in it.
Yes, it is good to recognize when you are just going through the motions and your heart is not engaged. That is not a desirable state of mind to be in.
Like Paul instructed in his second letter to the Corinthians, sometimes we have to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
So this morning as I was running, I began to just think about the miracle of what I was actually doing.
How amazing that I can move my arms and legs! I can run! Praise God!
How amazing that I can breathe in oxygen, which has been provided for me in abundance by the grace of God!
How amazing that my eyes have the ability to look around and see my surroundings, taking in the beauty of God’s creation and warning of any potential danger!
God’s goodness is literally all around us, everywhere we look. It is hidden in plain sight. We can choose to live a boring, uninspired existence, or we can open our God-given eyes, ears, nose, and heart to the truth of God’s goodness all around us.
As I considered these things, my pace picked up and I had a great finish to an otherwise not-so-great morning run.
In the end, I ran 3.1 miles in 24:35.6 with an average pace of 7:56 per mile.
Tomorrow I hope to roll past 100 total miles for the month with a 5am run in Wooster. Pray for me…