Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our Eyes are Upon You

I went for a run this afternoon and from the first step it was LAME! It was hot and now that I've lived in Oregon for two summers, my tolerance for heat is wilting. The heat irritated me and slowed my pace. I was carrying a Propel to drink vs. my usual Gatorade. My stomach didn't like the Propel and it complained the majority of my run. I think I'm allergic to something that's blooming right now so my usual steady breathing was labored and bordering on wheezy. I thought my lunch from three hours earlier was sufficient fuel for a six mile run, but I was wrong. I had no energy and each step felt heavy and difficult.

I came out to Highway 99 and had about 2 miles and two big hills left to finish my run. I gave myself a mental pep talk, safely crossed all four lanes of traffic and started heading up Rex Hill. It's fairly steep and kind of long so I fixed my eyes on the "Corral Creek Road" sign and just started plugging away to reach the sign. My eyes were so fixed on the sign that I didn't see a metal ring on the side of the road. Somehow my running gait and shoe size matched perfectly with the ring and I managed to get both of my feet trapped in the ring. The second I knew I was tangled up was the second before I came crashing to the ground.

There was no grace in my fall. Propel bottle went flying. Hands and feet, arms and legs went flailing. Can you say humiliating? My embarrassment drove me off the ground and running again as fast as I could. I reached Corral Creek Road and only after passing the sign I was so fixated on did I start to examine my wounds. Scraped palms, elbow and leg. Blood dripped off my finger. Grease from the road adorned my leg. I was kind of a mess. As the adrenline left my body, I realized my wrist hurt too.

Later this evening when I was simultaneously coddling my sore wrist and putting some dishes away, a verse I wrote on a 3x5 card and taped to my cupboard earlier today caught my eye. It came from II Chronicles, not a book known for it's life changing verses, but the story I read today about King Jehoshaphat was really cool. King Jehoshaphat was one of the few kings of Judah who actually loved and served God for the majority of his life. He made mistakes but the legacy he left was one of seeking God for guidance, especially in difficult situations. Chapter 20 elaborates on one of those times. Men came to the king and told him, "A vast army is coming against you from Edom." I love the next verse (3) that says, "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord." He called his entire country to gather for a time of fasting and corporate prayer. He prayed a beautiful prayer and ended it in verse 12 by saying, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."

How simple and yet how beautiful. When I fix my eyes on Jesus, life's distractions fade away and all I see is Him, guiding me and being a land marker for what I need to do and where I need to go. Kind of like my run today. I was so focused on that dumb sign that I didn't know I was about to be tripped up. Even after I dusted myself off, the sign was still my focus. Isn't life like that too? We get tripped up. We fall. We encounter pain and irritation and suffering. But God offers His beautiful and simple solution. Inquire of Him and tell him, "We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."

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