Coincidence…I think not!

Before I started my Musings, I visited several web sites and blogs run by friends of mine.  I have a friend who is a faithful Christian woman, an awesome photographer, and even enjoys running.  It was on Dena’s Well House Photography site that I read “Our God is not a god of coincidences.”   How true that is.  There is a lesson in every little thing that ever happens to us. 

If you have been following my blog, I seem to be referencing my running revelations quite frequently.  So, here is another one.  Just about anybody who has known me a while knows that I have a long-standing, deep-seeded, self-professed dislike of running.  I have friends who are runners, but that is not something I would ever call myself.  I may run, but I am not a runner.  So, believe me, every time I set out to run it is in faith and with prayer.  Today, I was on the Rock Island Trail trying once again to set my farthest distance and it came as no coincidence to me when I realized it is while running that God seems to speak to me most clearly.  In the course of doing something that I cannot claim to be any good at on my own is where He finds me.   

Praying, crafting, cooking, and studying the bible.  These are areas in which I would say I enjoy or I have some skill.  There are plenty of things in my life in which I take pride.  I like to think I am a decent Mommy.  I’m a pretty good Army wife.  I volunteer.  I would even say I’m good at exercising (just not running).  It is not in any of these areas that God is choosing to talk to me now.   It is while I’m running.  Things that I ponder and pray over for days suddenly seem so obvious to me while I’m running.  The longer I run, the more I sense He is revealing to me.  Which is great, because it is embarrassing how long it took me to run 8 miles today.  The point is that in the one area of my life that I am giving all the glory to God is where He is giving me more than I could even imagine to ask for.  That is humbling. 

The book of James is short New Testament book that has always spoken to me with practical wisdom.  Humility is mentioned twice in the five chapters.  

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6  

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” James 4:10 

Between these two verses James speaks of lamenting and mourning and weeping.  These are words I would generally use to describe how I feel about running.  But God has certainly lifted me up in this area of my life. 

I also thought about the popular Footprints poem while running today.  God responds to a man questioning Him about there being only set of footprints in the sand during the most troublesome times of his life by saying,

“My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Without a doubt, God has carried me through some difficult times.  Now, He is not only carrying me as I run, but blessing me every step of the way.  James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  If running draws me nearer to God, then I will run.  If only I could get someone to carry me for the three days with frozen peas on my knees that it takes for me to recover…

When does God speak to you?  What are you doing when He finds you?  Is there a lesson in that?  Is there an area of your life you need to part with pride to allow God to carry you?

3 thoughts on “Coincidence…I think not!

  1. I so enjoyed stopping by your blog. I am right where you are, well, actually I’m behind you in the running journey. I don’t like it either, but I am trying it in order to train my mind and body. My sister lost 115 lbs and is now a runner. What an inspiration she is for me when I say I can’t run, I remember her. She wants me to run the Rock and Roll Marathon in December in Vegas. Hmm, I can’t even run a mile yet. I am taking it slow. Doing a Couch to 5 K program on my iPod. I’m on week 3. Slow and steady, walk and jog mix. Ha.

    I’m starting my journey with a 5 K in June, a fundraiser for Life Network. Speaking of that, I still need to register.

    Thanks for stopping by my table after Saturday’s talk to share your blog with me.

    Happy Writing!

    1. I agree, this doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I do think I’ve gttoen abetter understanding of your position though, and I suspect my own is moresimilar to yours that it might appear.Basically, it seems to me that you’re taking an essentially theosophistposition: that many/all of the religions of the world are expressing thesame basic truths in different ways. The God concept, that in Westernculture is usually defined as the rather anthropomorphic God of modernChristianity, exists in all of them but can can be expressed in verydifferent ways.I think this is all true. I have also spent quite a lot of time studyingvarious religions and trying to understand them, and have seen the samething. I have also experienced at least some of the transcendent’experiences that people find through various religious practices. There arereal experiences and phenomena that are described in religions and that canbe reliably reproduced by probably anyone if they just follow theinstructions that are laid out in pretty much every religion.The difference between your position and mine, I think, is that I do notassume that the fact that religious practices can lead to these experiencespoints to there being any sort of supernatural element out there. I thinkthey can all be quite easily explained neurologically as a side affect ofcertain mental activities, which are common to the practices of pretty muchall religions in one form or another (prayer, meditation, &c.). Havingexperienced these things, I can definitely understand why some people wouldbe inclined to see them as proof of the divine, the supernatural, nibbana,or whatever other cultural artifact they think best matches up. Because weall live in cultures that evolved from a primitive past in which the onlyconceivable explanation for many things was a supernatural one it is quitenatural that when we find something that we don’t understand we fall back onthose old ideas. However I don’t think it’s necessary, and, as with justabout everything else, I think that eventually we will most likely have aconsistent scientific explanation for, literally, everything. Eventually’might be thousands of years from now, but that’s irrelevant. Essentially, Ithink it is the case that we live in a purely material universe and thatthere isn’t anything out there that can’t be explained through simplephysical equations (when we finally discover them).Basically, I don’t think that you’re wrong and I’m right. I think we’re bothsaying the same thing from a different perspective (as, I believe, you’vebeen saying the different religions do). However I also think that for thepurposes of furthering understanding it’s most productive to try and divorceour understanding of phenomena from their historical trappings in order toavoid falling into old biases and flaws of understanding. I think I dounderstand what you’re describing, but I think it’s a mistake tocharacterize it as outside the realm of science; if we can perceive it, wewill eventually be able to study it scientifically; if we can’t perceive it,then I don’t see how we can meaningfully say that it exists at all.

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