Endurance is not my strong suit. Which is probably why I did the sprint relay and 100 meter dash in high school while avoiding cross country like the plague. The thought of running three miles didn’t appeal to me then and still doesn’t appeal to me now.
I have no patience. When I want something, I’d like it now (thank you, Amazon Prime with your two-day shipping fo’ free).
Waiting is not appealing. Instead of waiting for a table to clear up at Chuy’s, I can call ahead and pick up the food to take and eat at my house. I do grocery pickup at H-E-B which is the introvert’s dream. I don’t have to have any social interaction with anyone or wait in one of the few check out lines open.
Despite my hatred of running, I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Even my dog turns and looks at me like, “When are we going to do that?” when someone runs past us on our daily walks. Maybe that’s why 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 made such an impact on me when I was in college.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
I loved these verses so much that in my Intro to Photography class sophomore year, I submitted a photo with this verse in it as a self portrait, aka an image that defined me. It’s been my Twitter cover photo ever since. While the Nike shoes on the road were mine, I never ran down a road my entire college career – except in the running class from hell.
But that’s the kind of person I wanted to be. Not only someone who could casually lace up her shoes and tackle a 5K but also someone who ran to obtain the prize.
What kind of prize are we talking about?
The verse is mentioning the eternal prize in heaven.
If we’re being honest, though, my “prize” was all about receiving attention here on earth, even though I’m super awkward with affirmation.
Life became about the things I was doing – getting good grades in college, building my Twitter followers, doing impressive things that looked extra cool with just the right Instagram filter. Landing a sweet job right out of college after interning in New York City spring semester senior year.
And then, the prize became to build a successful Christian blog. I wrote as much as I could – once again, endurance issues cut that run short – but my sole focus wasn’t on if what I was writing Truth or not. Instead, the “success” from that was only based on the amount of likes, retweets and comments each post received.
As that blog died its sad, Blogspot death, so did my faith. I wasn’t running the race at all. I think I was walking. Let me rephrase that, I hope I was walking. While I felt like my career was growing, my faith life had never been more stagnant.
I only read my Bible when I wanted to. I only prayed when things got hard.
And things got hard in early 2017. Where I went for a sense of worth became the monster that tore me down. I lived for social media, trying to make it big-time in my profession. But Twitter can be a nasty place. Since my identity was wrapped up in the little red circle that pops up on the icon to reveal the number of notifications you have, that growing number rocked me.
I prayed daily for the first time in years. I was in the Word trying to find an identity. I found out I had built my house on the sand (Matt. 7:24-27).
As I was trying to reconstruct my house on the rock, I got a new job in Waco. It’s been a little over a year and has turned out to be the perfect place for me at the right time for me.
Recently, I listened to the That Sounds Fun podcast by Annie F. Downs (seriously, go subscribe to that right now). And Curtis Zackery said this, “Before you get to the abounding in thanksgiving. Before you get to the living out your calling. Before you get to what is my role on earth, what is my purpose – there is a rootedness, there is a foundation there’s a solidity, there’s a contentment that comes from Him.“
His words stemmed from Colossians 2:6-7:
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
First off, notice the “walk,” not run. But more importantly, the word “established” really stood out to me while I was listening.
Merriam-Webster defines establish as, “to make firm or stable.” Some synonyms are: base, build, form, settle.
Nothing about any of those words bring the picture of a house built on sand as a storm blows through. Instead, I envision a firm foundation.
While I’ve focused lately on what my identity is, my calling, my purpose – I’ve been focused on everything else except what it all stems from.
As someone who goes to bed checking her phone and wakes up checking her phone, everything has stemmed from social media for me. That’s the sand.
The rock, of course, is Jesus. And it’s time to be established in Him, believing He says He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.
So with that comes this blog.
Not so much of a devotional per read but a Christian lifestyle type situation. Not preaching at you. Not keeping my faith separate from my work anymore.
Instead, this where my real life – which is trying to give equal coverage to 70 different high school football teams in the fall, covering Baylor women’s basketball in the winter and juggling every single high school spring sport before school ends in May – intersects with my faith. Like it should.
And I pray that I don’t fall prey to Satan’s lies as he tries to convince me that this blog will be all about me. Because it’s not. It’s about God and His glory.