Today was my last day of running in the mountains. I wanted to make it a great 5k!
I ran the same route that Jodi and I ran yesterday morning. Today I was able to run it in 23 minutes and 36 seconds. That is an average pace of 7:35, which I was really happy with given the conditions.
Some of the uphill climbs felt like they would never end, but I was able to keep a solid pace uphill, and I was flying downhill (I hit a 5:55 pace at one point, only briefly). The views were as breathtaking as ever this morning, and it was a brisk 31 degrees. I am definitely looking forward to an Ohio run tomorrow.
Reading through Matthew 10-12 today, I was struck by the difficulty of following Jesus.
In Matthew 10, Jesus appoints and sends out his Apostles, but tells them about how hard it is going to be and warns them that they will be persecuted.
Truly following Jesus is hard!
But he is with us, he gives us reason to have no fear, and he promises great rewards.
Matthew 11 is one of my favorite chapters in Scripture. For some reason I am encouraged by John the Baptist’s momentary lack of faith. Here is this great man of God, who in a moment of weakness wonders of his life’s work was worth it -or if he missed God by proclaiming that Jesus was the promised Messiah…
So John, in prison, sends his disciples to Jesus to ask if he was, in fact, the Christ. Jesus answers with a definitive YES in a way that John would clearly understand, and then he goes on to say:
And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” – Matthew 11:6
What a powerful statement. Let me paraphrase:
“I am God and I do what I want when I want because… well, because I am God. All of my ways are good and right even though they often seem bad and wrong. If you trust me, and believe that I am for you, and have faith that I am working all things together for the good, then you are blessed.”
Another part of Matthew 11 that gives me great comfort is several verses later when Jesus describes the impossibility of pleasing men.
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” – Matthew 11:18-19
Again, I will paraphrase:
“John, a man anointed and sent by God, didn’t eat and drink in a way that satisfied the masses, so they rejected him -he’s too weird. I, Jesus, was rejected as a possible messiah because I ate and drank too much and didn’t hang out with the ‘right’ people. There is no satisfying these people, but the truth will be unmistakably revealed in the end.”
Have you ever felt like this? Like no matter what you do it is too much or not enough? I sure have! Thankfully, we are not called to satisfy the fleeting expectations of the masses. We are called to follow, honor, and glorify our audience of One.
The truth will be unmistakeably revealed in the end.