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Day 1: Run with Endurance

For the past week, I have been waking up early(er) and jogging for 2 miles each day in an effort to be more intentional with my daily habits and my physical well-being.  Friday morning as I was jogging, I saw a turtle.  I had been jogging for 5 whole days in my neighborhood and this was the first time I saw a turtle.  The turtle was literally in the middle of the road directly in my path. 


When I first saw this “thing” in the road, I don’t know how but I just knew it was a turtle.  I knew it wasn’t there my first lap around the neighborhood and I also barely saw it moving.  And sure enough, as I started to get closer, I saw that it was indeed a turtle.  As I’m looking at the turtle admiring its beauty and calmness, I started to look a little closer.  And what I realized was, this turtle was still.  This turtle was also afraid.  The longer I looked at the turtle, the more I realized that its head wasn’t sticking out as confidently as it had been when I first came upon it.  It was slowly hiding back in its shell.


I immediately started to think about my own life.  How I can be still.  Not still in the sense of peace and knowing that God is God.  But still in the sense of stuck.  Stuck because of fear.  Not moving because I am afraid of the unknown.  Afraid of what might happen; what people might say; how people might feel.  Notice what I am focusing on in all these crippling thoughts.  I am not focusing on the strength and confidence that God has placed on the inside of me.  I’m not even focusing on God – the one who is able to do all that and more.  I am focusing on other people. And I am focusing on my limited beliefs that even if I do this thing… even if I “walk,” there’s a possibility that something bad will happen.  I am not only stuck in fear because of others, but I am stuck in fear because of myself.
 
As I continued to run, all of these thoughts are going through my head, and how I have literally not even began 30 Days of Intentionality because of fear.  I mean, I also hadn’t begun because of all the technical issues I was experiencing with my computer and whatnot.. but maybe the underlying issue (and part of the reason God slowed me down to begin in the first place) was to show me that I was being fearful.  I can’t tell you how many times I had the thought to push it back to next month or the month after that… If I’m being honest, I was supposed to start since April… but I just kept pushing it back.  And then, here we are 2 months later and it was delayed again because of some of my own crippling and faulty thought patterns. 
 
By the time I lapped back around to the spot where I found the turtle, the turtle is now in the grass.  I smiled because this was yet another reminder for me.  A reminder that, even when I am afraid – keep going.  Even when I am delayed – keep going.  Even when I don’t know where I am going to find strength – keep going.  Even when I think I can’t go anymore …. Keep going.
 
So many times I’ve wanted to quit or even give up.  But why?  Isn’t there so much beauty waiting on the other side if you just keep going?  That turtle may have been afraid.  That turtle may have wanted to hide in its protection to stay hidden and play small.  But instead, that turtle mustered up all the strength it had to keep going.  No matter how long it would take… even if it seemed like it would take eternity to get to its destination… it would keep going.
 
Many times when I am running, I always start to get tired the closer I get to the end.  It’s like my body knows I’m almost there and it will pull out every pain and ache to get me to stop.  I mean, literally… I will be on my final stretch, like 5 houses down from my house, and my heart will get heavier, my breaths will get deeper, and my legs will get weaker.  But in the midst of that heaviness, the birds will be chirping.  And they, too, will do more and more the closer I get to the house.  They will be chirping, and what I believe to be cheering me on, until I get to the finish line. 
 
And then, I will get there.  Out of breath and all lol.. but I will reach my destination.
 
Let this story remind you to keep going. Even when you feel like giving up.. even when it may seem like you can’t even begin.  Start now.  And keep going.  You are not alone.  And you have some witnesses (like me) cheering you on.
 
Today is Day 1 of 30 Days of Intentionality.  Let’s do this thing. We are in this together! It’s okay if you have to stop for a moment to catch a breath or check out your surroundings.  It’s okay if you get afraid.  Just don’t get stuck.  There’s so much beauty waiting on the other side.
 

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"Therefore, since we have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance that slows us down and the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith."  - Hebrews 12:1


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  • Malika on

    Thank you so much for these inspiring words! It is exactly what I need today!

    God bless you!

  • Whitney on

    Beautiful and needed! Thank you for just beginning.

  • Wendy on

    Dee,
    Great message. Fear and what ifs are things that constantly plague me. No more though. I will be intentional in embracing what God has for me.


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