I was at the gym the other day….I like to let that statement settle in for a minute, pretend I said it as if being at the gym was nothing new nor extraordinary for me. Okay, so maybe the more HONEST start to this blog should be, “I finally made it to the gym the other day…”. We’ve joined our local YMCA and, although it was NOT my first time there, it must have been obvious I was a fairly new member.
I had already established a gym routine. I love to run on one of their new treadmills. It is made of wood slats and really gives you a feel as if on a smooth trail. I had just settled into a warm up pace, headphones blaring tunes from Hilsong United, when a staff member from the gym stopped by my treadmill.
I slowed my pace (which means I was almost at a full stop since I run so slow ) and took an earbud out to hear what she was saying. I don’t know if checking on folks is a standard procedure for this gym, or if I already looked like I was in crisis, I DO look like a hot mess when I jog. She asked me if I needed any additional information about the equipment and what my running goal was this session. I told her I hoped to run about 4 miles…it was sort of true, I genuinely ALWAYS attempt 4 miles, but alas seldom make it happen. “Good for you.” The kindly attendant said. Then, before leaving me to my effort, she gave me a life changing bit of advice… “Don’t forget to pick your feet up!”
As I placed my earpiece back and returned to my jogging pace I thought how silly her comment was. “DUH, of COURSE I will pick my feet up!” I thought. I was even slightly unkind in my thinking… “Hmm, wonder how much training it took to learn to tell folks that bit”. Shame on me, right? But seriously, when you run on a treadmill, picking your feet up is really ALL you have to do. It is not hard to remember. Sure, you can set the “tread” to move faster or slower causing you to pick your feet up faster or slower…but picking up your feet is still “job #1”.
Since you may already see where this story is going, let me assure you I did NOT get hurt. I was having a great run. My music was inspiring and upbeat, I was in my favorite running socks and managing my breathing better than usual. I was actually going to accomplish my 4 mile goal, yay! Then about mile 3.5, I managed to not pick up my foot enough. The result was a heart pounding, slow motion, ALMOST fall on your face, miraculous recovery. I may have only ran 4 miles that day, but my heart got a marathon workout.
I finished the last half mile thinking of only ONE thing and repeating it over and over to myself…”PICK UP YOUR FEET!”
Since that day I have continued to consider this lesson. How often do I walk through life, digging in my heels, trying to propel myself forward? I am running through life thinking it is more complex than it actually is….discouragement, exhaustion, frustration, defeat all hover about waiting to cause me to stumble. But God has not called me to make my own life a certain way, He has called me to follow His plan for my life. He has my road under control…my job is to pick up my feet. When weariness threatens me, I will stop striving and just pick up my feet. When I am uncertain of my destination, I will pick up my feet and trust where He places them next. I will stop grumbling and obediently pick up my feet so He does not have to drag me along, because SOMETIMES God has a different plan.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God….” (Psalm 40:1-2)