Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run


"As you accept this gift, know you are an acceptable gift." 

These are wise and comforting words from Pastor Todd at Church in Bethesda on Sunday morning. He was serving communion and talking about how we have to realize no matter where we are in life or what we've done, Jesus gives us the freedom to be who we are. He accepts us no matter what. We have to know we are an acceptable gift in order to accept the gift Jesus gave us - his life.

The past two Sundays, Todd has been giving us reminders of God in our lives through beads on a string. 

GREEN: Seek God
The first bead was green reminding us to seek God. He talked about how we have to "climb a tree" like Zacchaeus when he was finding a way to see Jesus. Todd reminded us that as Christians it's hard to remember to continually seek God because many of us have had Him right there with us our whole lives. This resonated deeply with me as I keep trying to seek this something but am definitely not heading in the God direction to find it.
Over the last year or so I've found myself trying to turn off my brain in the evenings. This is typically done with wine or rum. This Sunday, I woke up to run before church with a little hangover and found myself promising myself I wouldn't rum and then run again. My mantra during that run: Running is Better Than Rumming. I keep saying I will do this (just ask my friend David) but never seem to follow through. I am seeking something that takes me away from work or my life but it always takes me further away from where God wants me to be. Seeking Him should be my number one priority but I see how it's not. 
God is the reason for all of my success and all of the grand things that come from my life. I am the reason for all of the pain and heartache. Seeking Him instead of an escape would help greatly. But how do I focus on that? Running helps me take some quiet time alone with God to work out my problems. Running also keeps my head on straight and keeps me focused. It keeps my body healthy and gives me the energy I need to make it through the day. No amount of rum will help that. 
RED: Seek God's Love
The second was red reminding us to seek God's love. Todd asked us to start talking to God and really see what His love is all about instead of just having Him around as an afterthought. Realizing that God's love for me is bigger than anyone else's can possibly be, I find I've known this my whole life but never really KNOWN. I am always striving to find love but in all the wrong places.
My entire adult life I've tried to fill my heart up with the love of someone. I'm human, I need to feel as if someone loves me. I have tried to find a way to fill a hole in my life down many dangerous avenues. The idea that guys can fill the spot God should be is absurd but I keep looking in that direction. God's love is so much more powerful than any man's love for me (and most aren't really looking for love). He takes care of every need and desire. He loves me even when I'm unloveable. 
My mantra with this red bead: God is Better Than Guys. God's love has to fill me up first so I can have the space to allow that man into my life... or not! Maybe it's just His plan to give me the time to find out what He has in store for me without a man. It's perplexing and I obviously don't have it all figured out. My heart has so many desires but my brain can't sort them out well enough to focus on the best decision. This tells me I need to focus on God's love and stop worrying about finding it elsewhere.
Thus, the two promises I make to myself: I will run, not rum. I will seek God's love, not man's.
I have so many bigger priorities. I'm not quite 32 and I have the world at my fingertips. If I can't focus on my life because of rum and boys, I will never be all I was meant to be. I want to be more than an acceptable gift... I want to be an excellent gift!
This is not easy, but we all have to start somewhere. Today.
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