Yesterday I got slammed with a feeling I hadn't dealt with in a long time, the feeling of extreme loneliness. The feeling of being completely lost in a sea of thousands that don't care if I do or don't exist. Is it true? No. I'm surrounded by family that loves me and includes me. For some reason the lurking feeling of being lost in the sauce because I'm not on a man's arm overtook me at the concert and fireworks show. Went from enjoying time with my family to suddenly feeling like a 5th wheel. In my head I could justify a million things to blame it on, feeling swamped in memories I had a plethora of excuses. The real lesson amidst the smoke is learning to wait patiently and apply the same discipline I do to my running to the rest of my life.
Now don't get me wrong, I know God is in control etc. Jeremiah 29:11 puts it this way, "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." If this was simply a lesson of intellect, of the mind, I would have it down by now, but it isn't, it is a lesson of the heart. Since it isn't something that fits neatly in a box in my mind it has aspects that touch a multitude of parts of my life right now. Rejoicing with friends as they get engaged and married, giving and serving when it feels like it goes unnoticed, having the discipline to sit at Jesus' feet and wait (I'm not good at sitting, or waiting for that matter). The last one is the biggest it seems. It is extremely tempting to just be the rebel my flesh wants me to be, to just give in to things that are less than ideal because they are immediate, instead of waiting and being on my own for a while longer. It isn't for lack of knowing there is someone out there, for a while it has felt like I've caught a glimpse here or there, but yet God has kept it just out of reach, and for that I am thankful. Just like in healing from my latest running injury I am still healing from my last relationship and in that time other muscles are being worked, parts of my life and relationship with Christ are being strengthened and stretched. Now that doesn't mean I necessarily like the idea, but I wouldn't trade the outcome for the world. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 sums it up nicely, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
"Teach me the struggle of the soul to bear,
to check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
teach me the patience of unanswered prayer."