I was running today – huffing and puffing up and down hills, past people and their dogs, with a dry mouth, looking awkward and wishing that I still lived in Florida where I could run on flat ground. I don’t run because I’m great at it. It takes me about eleven minutes to run a mile. I mostly run because I love it. I love the feeling of having accomplished something. I love the feeling of running downhill after I just spent ages struggling uphill. I love the days when my body feels great, and I feel like I’m flying a little bit. I love watching the colors of the leaves right now. And I love that I have seen both a deer and an owl in the past few weeks. Seriously!
I often get stuck in life because I want so badly to do things perfectly. That desire often paralyzes me, instead of bringing me to the life of freedom that I know Christ wants for me. Usually my desires just stop at being desires because I’m afraid of trying and messing things up. I’ve been thinking about this all week because of the gospel for this Sunday. I imagine myself as that servant with the one talent – of course I would keep it and bury it in the ground! I only have one! But I know that God is calling me to live courageously in spite of my fear.
It really hit me today when I was running that there really is another way to live my life. And in some ways, I am already doing it. Somehow I have managed to put aside my desire to be perfect, and my concern about other people’s opinions enough to run slowly and badly in public places. So what if I did everything in life just because I love it? Already, I am a missionary not because I feel like I have to be or because I’m a great missionary, but because I love that my life revolves around trying to love as Christ has loved me. I am working with teenagers because I love seeing the way they pray and live with passion, and I get excited about the ways they will and are already changing the world. I sing during praise and worship because I love Jesus and I want to praise him, not because my voice sounds any good.
This is the kind of freedom that I want to live in every day. I want to sing and run and play and pray and be a missionary and love and work hard, even if I do it badly. And I really think that this is what Jesus wants for me too. We have been made for freedom. “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galations 5:1