Monday, May 25, 2009

Lay Down My Pride

Once upon a time, I was a runner. Just check out the picture - putting on a big cheesy grin after completing 26.2 miles. So, I was not your typical runner. I was an insane one. People didn't introduce me as Michelle. I was always given an additional tag line like "who runs marathons" or "who already ran 12 miles today." I even used to keep a pair of running shoes in the trunk of my car...just in case.

I'm not a crazy runner anymore. I hurt my knee a while back, and I can't run the distances that I used to. During my recovery, though, I discovered that I actually like lifting weights. Plus, instead of running, my top choice for cardio is TurboKick - a little bit of kickboxing, a little bit of dance - what's not to love?

But some things never change. For example, I still double-knot my shoes purely out of habit. And it took me a long time to use the word "food" instead of "fuel" when referring to my meals.

Other things do change - like my ability to run 12 miles on a "normal" day, my normal pace, and even my endurance. I be able to teach TurboKick for 2 hours, but running is just different, especially if I ever decide to take my run outside. Added elements hills, wind and potholes can add a new twist to a run at any given time.

When I took over the recreation ministry at my church in April, though, one of the first things I wanted to do was start a running club. Seriously - how awesome would it be to have a team of Christian runners who entered local races to bring God glory? I put the word out, and it didn't take long until I had a great team. We even registered for our first race - the American Heroes Race, which was this past Saturday.

Out of habit, I automatically registered myself for the 10K. It's just 6.2 miles, I told myself. You can do that. I wasn't lying to myself. I can run 6.2 miles...I just can't do it as fast or as effortless as I used to.

I mixed in as much training as I could, but my teaching schedule made it difficult. Somehow, even though I managed to get in 7-8 hours of cardio a week, by race day, I still felt unprepared. Only about 1 hour a week of that was actually spend running! It was looking like this 10K was not going to be a 45 minute finish like the last one I had done.

I also knew I didn't need to push it. After all, the next day was my one year wedding anniversary, and James and I have a trip planned for the next weekend to celebrate. I didn't need to go all out, get hurt, overly sore or even make myself self.

So, I came to the race prepared. Thanks to the chip in my Nike shoes that syncs with my iPod, I can program a "power song" that plays anytime I hold down the center button. For this race, I chose Jeremy Camp's "Lay Down My Pride."

Anytime I would feel the need to kick up my pace or I would see someone ahead of me that I felt I just needed to pass, I held down the center button. Over the course of 6.2 miles, I got to hear "Lay Down My Pride" about 4 times.

A few lyrics of the song really got to me...

The cross...
The blood you shed for me.
Your back was ripped and bruised,
So I can know your love.
I kneel, I bow to you my king.

Lay down my pride,
My desires, my demise.
Ready now to see it Your way.
'Cause I'm done, I'm through, ignoring you.Now it's true.
I'm kneeling at the cross of your grace.
Lay down my pride.

Wow. I'm done. I'm through ignoring you.

What a great definition of pride - ignoring God because we are too focused on recieving our own glory.

And what a beautiful statement of repentance:

Ready now to see it Your way.

Lay down my pride.

My desires.

My demise.

I've tried living my life my own way. I mess it up everytime. After I fail time after time again, I finally remember to turn to God, and it's like the answer was right in front of me the whole time...but I couldn't see it because I was blinded by myself.

I don't live with my iPod on. I can't always have a "power song" when I feel like I am about to ignore God. But I do have Proverbs 16:18 - "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Since Saturday, whenever I pray, I've asked God what I need to lay down. What have I still not released to Him? Everyday, He is teaching me more and more things that I am still trying to hold on to and control myself.

It's a simple question...but the answer may be difficult.

What do you need to lay down?

Oh, and in case you care - I finished in 52 minutes - added about a minute to each mile I ran from my previous 10K...but I finished.

1 comment:

J E S S I C A said...

This is so true! I too am always asking God to show me what I still need to let go of. Being a control freak, it's hard to give everything over to Him and totally trust in the fact that He is taking care of everything. But once I do, it's such a huge load off my back and a great sense of comfort. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on a well ran race!