Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why Do I Run?

I've really been dragged through the ringer for the last several years.
I call it "The Lost Decade!"
The last two have had some really rough times and the last few months have been absolutely horrible!

I run to keep on going.
Running has saved my life.
Running has also probably helped me to spare the lives of others.
I thank God for running.

I take my frustration and my disappointment out on the asphalt and the trails.

I run for several reasons.
It keeps me disciplined.
It keeps me sane.
It keeps me focused on the harvest.

Running keeps me going.
Running is when I listen to Him the best.
No music.
Just breathing.
Just pounding.
Just heart beating.
Just listening.
Just praying.

"1,2,3 Pour out your Spirit!"
"1,2,3 Bless this county!"
"1,2,3 Pour out your Spirit!"
"1,2,3 Bless this campus!"
"1,2,3 Pour out your Spirit!"
"1,2,3 Give me wisdom!"
"1,2,3 Heal my friend!"
"Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away!"

During my run today I told the Lord,
"I'm not out here running in order to fill my Church you know!"
"I'm out here running in order to empty hell!"

His response:
"I know that!" "So does the enemy!"
"And, you expected that to come without a price?"
"You expect that to be easy?"
"You expected that you would just waltz in and free the captives?

"Will you run while I fill other churches even if I choose to empty yours?"
"Will you pray for souls if I send them to other pastors?"
"Will you be out here running if you have to, "Make bricks without straw!"?

"I won't pretend to like it, but YES!"
"What can I keep?" (Convicted the moment I said it!)

"Can I keep my family?" "Please."
"Can I keep my joy?" "Actually, can I get it back?" "I've lost it along the way!"
"The closest that I get to really experiencing it is in these moments when I run."
"I'll keep running and keep praying, but I need my joy back!"
"I want to keep my family."

In a moment of utter frustration at the end of 7.14 miles turned off my watch and I said,
"Is this the way you treat your sons?"
(Then I saw my Savior on the cross)
ANSWER: "Yes!" "This is exactly how I treat them!" (Ouch!)

I gave an honest answer: "Sometimes I don't even like you, but I will serve you. I trust you and I love you. But, I won't pretend to like what you allow me and those that I love to go through. I don't understand you. But I will serve you. I have watched people lose those that they hold most dear. I have watched godly men and women suffer tremendously while you seem to do nothing. Yet, I am on top of the roof right now taking off tiles and lowering my friends before you because I still believe. I honestly don't know why I do, but I do. I believe! It makes no sense whatsoever for me to believe, but I do."

"You've done the hard stuff! You've forgiven Bill Parks and Darla Taylor of their sin! You have erased their debt! You have paid their ransom and guaranteed them heaven! Why won't you do the easy thing and heal him of cancer and her of MS?"

"I just don't understand you."
"I love you; I still trust you; I will not let go of you, but I do not understand you."

It was dark by then and I turned into my driveway and looked up at the stars.
I felt like Job in the final chapters of the book that bears his name.
I felt small.
Lucky to be alive.
I scrambled to take off more tiles.
I lowered Bill, Darla, and the 30,000 plus lost souls of my county down to Him hoping for a miracle.
Don't know if it will ever happen.
But, I'll die on this roof taking off tiles and lowering people down because I just don't know what else to do.

I keep on running because I want to empty hell.

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