This past year, 2010 that is, I have learned so much about what it means to give yourself completely as a living sacrifice. It is amazing to see how God uses us in our everyday lives and how He uses our weakness and transforms them into strengths.
If you knew me a few years back... you couldn't get me to run a mile without breaking down after 15 minutes in a heavy sweat, breathing heavily. Now, with a little help, encouragement, and motivation, I am running miles upon miles, biking like crazy, and swimming as if I have been swimming for years. Let's just say... Courtney Hixson, my beloved friend and triathalon coach, is a slave driver whom I am so thankful for!
Training for a triathalon is difficult for several reasons one major one being this: you cannot listen to any music. It is a safety hazard, as a matter of fact, to listen to your ipod during any segment of the race. So, Courtney has ordered me to train without music. My first thought is, "Are you kidding? How can I run without jamming to 'Let God Arise' by Chris Tomlin!?" (Call me a dork... I don't care!) But the point is, I had no idea what I would do without music. When you listen to your jams while working out, you can focus on the lyrics, or get into a certain rhythm and groove. But no... all of that had to change.
After several work out sessions of quiet, I decided to drop my "woe is me" attitude about my loss of music and invest that time wisely. As I started thumping me feet against the track floor on the upper level of UREC, I began to pray. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have a week about this, but I am always asked to pray for someone or something - and I am thankful for that. Being entrusted with prayer is a big deal and sometimes it is hard to keep them all in line. I decided that day that my time working out would be best spent in prayer. Soon, I realized that the track began to disappear. My own troubles took the back seat. My own worries and hesitations were figures of the past. I became solely focused on the Lord and acknowledging His presence beside me through the run, or swim, or bike ride.
I have never experienced such beautiful worship. When I sing, yes, that is indeed beautiful - I am able to share a part of myself that is unlike anything anyone else can share. My voice is mine and when shared sends a message to others. But when I push my body in worship, I recognized that God has created this body for so much more than I can imagine. At a point where I would usually give up - doesn't seem to matter anymore... I just keep going. The other day I ran for a solid hour. Don't know where the time went... but I thought I had only been gone for about 20 minutes. Just know, friends and family, that you are being prayed for all the time!
Find time and make time to worship the Lord in a different way. Let yourself be stretched; challenge yourself - push yourself. As my dear friend once told me, remind yourself that you were fearfully and wonderfully made for this. Offer your very best to God... isn't that was worship is about? Giving your best to the Lord?
"Over time I realized that when we love God, we naturally run to Him - frequently and zealously." -Francis Chan, Crazy Love