Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
It is impossible to please God without faith. Hebrews 11:6
So many things in life require faith, especially new things. We know where we want to end up, but we don’t know how to get there. So we seek out advice, or a plan, or we just make something up, and trust that whatever we are doing will work.
I was talking with my wife this morning about our boys and parenting. Michael is 18 and about to graduate high school. Matthew is 14 and about to finish 9th grade. Both of them were premature at birth. Their first days, weeks, and months were very stressful as they both stayed in the hospital for weeks, but, looking back now, it wasn’t all that hard for us as parents. We didn’t have any decisions to make. We just had to show up at the hospital and love them. That was really it. We didn’t have to ask if they were being cared for correctly. Or if they were getting enough food and oxygen. We just had to be present and show love. It seems that as they have grown older, and we have become more aware of the outcomes and consequences of our “parenting plan”, we realize how little we really know abut parenting and how much we are really just having faith that God will take our efforts and make the most and best out of them.
When I started running, I knew virtually nothing about what I needed to do to progress. I found the Couch to 5K program online and trusted in the plan to get me where I wanted to go. It did. Then I set my sights on a half marathon. I loosely followed a plan, and it got me to my destination.
As I entered into this year, I really had 3 goals:
1. Run a sub-23 5K. (current PR is 23:25)
2. Run sub-50 at the Peachtree Road Race 10K. (current PR is 52:17)
3. Run a sub-4 hour marathon.
Every week. Every run. I am thinking about these results and trying to make sure that I am progressing. The problem is this: Will my training produce the desired results? What if I spend all of this time training for these goals and come up short?
I am slowly learning that I need to focus less on the desired results, and more on enjoying the journey that leads me towards them. Trust me, I want to achieve these goals this year, but I can miss the mark on all three and still set PR’s in all of them. Even if I don’t PR, I can still be successful. Every mile that I run and calorie that I burn is a deposit that I am making in my own personal health account.
And if I do achieve the expected results, what then? I will just have to raise the bar next year. I am not slamming the idea of setting goals and working towards them. I just don’t want to be so consumed with the outcome that I can’t enjoy the journey.
In every part of my life, I need to be present. I have faith that things will improve, but I can’t wait until that happens to enjoy it. You know, it’s a relief to know that God made me and gave me the talents and abilities that I have. I am His problem. After all, He made me. I don’t have to try to make myself into something I am not. I don’t have to pretend to have all of the answers. I can just be the best me that I can possibly be. And have faith that God will accomplish his purposes in my life.
So I put the responsibility on God. If He intends for me to achieve these goals, then by His Grace, and my efforts, I will. If not, then I will be happy knowing that He is pleased with the faith that I am showing in Him and in myself.