Sheets of chilly Autumn rain streamed down unto the saturated course, and my wellies squished with every stride. Rain rolling off their noses and mud sucking the shoes off of their feet, they slid and trekked through the mud. It was my favorite kind of race-day. The kind of day when talent is shelved for guts, and mud makes champions.
We can all run atop a dry and even course, but it’s in the depths of the hills and the chill of uncooperating weather, that our true grit is revealed.
None of my cross country runners knew that they were preparing for this race all season long, but I did. I knew something they didn’t. I’d been up and down these muddy slopes before, and I remember the triumphant feeling of shelving the mile-splits and running after the competition through that mud. Sometimes, we don’t realize what we’re preparing for until we’re knee-deep in a mud …trying to keep our shoes from being sucked off.
Today’s verse is about trusting what God says about preparation. He knows what’s coming. He’s numbered our days. His plan for us is good, and His will for our lives is perfect …even though it sometimes looks like a big shoe-sucking mud puddle.
Get your fields ready: Plan carefully and acquire the means as you build your house.- NIV Study Bible Notes
Distance runners plan carefully. We know we have to run far, but we can’t get there all at once. Miles must be accumulated a little bit at a time, week after week, as we prepare our legs and strengthen our bodies and our lungs to handle the heavy load. We must plan carefully in life, too. Making drastic increases in any area of our lives cause red flags to fly.
Wisdom is required to build a house; understanding is necessary to make it secure. Proverbs 24:3
Wisdom doesn’t come easy for a distance runner. At first, we’re not sure we’ll survive that first three mile run. Our lungs burn and our legs have no idea what’s happening. That first race, we’re not sure we’ll make it to the finish. It seems impossible, and we feel a little defeated. But in time, as we run a little farther, and survive to see another finish line …what we know starts to trump how we feel.
We have to let what we know trump how we feel.
house. Symbolic of the life of an individual or a family.- NIV Study Bible Notes
We become what we prepare to build. And the truth we stand on must be rock solid, because everything that flows from the heart that we guard will provide the foundation on which we build our house.
Jesus died so that we can have an impenetrable foundation and an immovable confidence to build our house on. Him. The Cross. The grace He gave us when He gave up His last breath is the very foundation our lives are built on. Anything else is just shoe-sucking mud.
Father, Praise You for runners! For distance runners! Thank You for giving me the opportunity to run and to coach, so that the lessons I learned would affirm the wisdom You planted. Forgive me …and forgive us all …for thinking that the athletic and academic feats we accomplish come from our own strength. Bless us to build our homes on rock sold truth …on Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
Happy Mud running,
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