How do you clear your head? Where do you go? What do you do?
For me, I clear my head while exercising. No part of me enjoys running but, oh do I love thinking clearly. Having the cobwebs removed and the loudness silenced long enough to hear the gentle whispers of truth and wisdom God might have been speaking all along while I was too busy to stop and listen.
Those moments where I can stop and think about what’s been on my heart. Those precious hours where I can often look past the temporary struggles that cloud my mind from day to day and, instead see what God wants me to focus on. What’s important. What’s valuable. What’s eternal.
And, as I run, I can visualize the throwing off of troubles. The casting off of the sin that so easily entangles. Running toward my father. Toward the one who I want to live for wholeheartedly. An action I cannot always accomplish while standing still but an action that seems so much easier when my body is in perpetual motion.
And as I run today my heart wonders. How can I constantly be running toward my Father? How can I choose, with every word, action and thought, to run away from idols of recognition, accomplishment and comfort and run, instead, with my eyes fixed permanently on who I am in Christ, letting everything else fall in place in light of the One in whom I abide.
It’s a question I don’t have a concrete answer to. It’s a question that circles around in my head each time I stop and take stock of my life, my priorities, my values, my actions. And perhaps that’s all I have to do. Stop more. Pray more. Listen more. Not necessarily do more but listen more and, in that listening, to be open to the fact that what He has to say might not be easy, magical or simple. What He has to say might not include answers to the detail questions of my life. Perhaps, instead, what He has to say is just an invitation. An invitation to run to Him more often – not just when I am actually running.
Imagine what clarity there might be if my heart was focused primarily on the prize for which God has called me Heavenward and the actions of day to day didn’t pull my eyes from the One who formed me for a particular purpose today and every day. Imagine the clarity, the awareness, the simplicity of serving Christ first and details second. Imagine the wisdom in seeing everything and everyone through the eyes of the One who calls and loves us all. Imagine the peace in knowing that I have no other task before me bu too run to Jesus and He will take care of the details.
For this worrying, fretful heart, this thought is better than the clarity that comes from a clear head after a good run. It is a thought that quiets my all-worrying heart before an all-knowing God and reminds me that I need not have only one place to hear God. I need not walk around confused, frustrated and worried until I set out running. I need not spend the majority of my day trying to figure life out for myself only to spend that one glorious hour of running acknowledging that I never had control in the first place and realizing what freedom there is in releasing control.
So, here’s to favourite quiet time places but, more than that, here’s to finding ways to embrace the quiet in the midst of the loud and crazy lives we live and running to Him always. He will be there. He will be speaking. Whether you’re running, walking, sitting or standing still. He will be there. I am convinced of it.