Yep. Jogging. Of which I've gained much experience in the last couple of months.
When we're not struggling up a hill, mom and I can get somewhat philosophical as we endure our daily exercise.
Just the other day, mom made the statement, "If you think about it, jogging is a lot like life. If I think about how much farther I have to go, how many more hills we have to climb, or how many more minutes there are left, it is easy to get overwhelmed. But if I focus on the task at hand, taking the next step, I can handle it."
That surely rang true with me, as we were not yet halfway through our jog and the near-noon-day sun was beating down on us.
I thought about my own life. About my future. Doing so always presses my panic button.
I guess it's because I'm too quick to think of all the possibilities for disappointment and hardship. I don't know why I do that. It's not like I've had more than my share of hard times and trauma. But, then again, the media certainly isn't painting a pretty picture.
But then I'm reminded to look at the other side of the coin. To think about all the possibilities for much good and much growth. To remember that I'm safely in God's Hands.
I guess the area that causes me the most anxiety is marriage. "Will I get married? Will I never marry?" Honestly, I never thought I'd be 26 and unmarried. I thought I would have one or two children by now. Lot's of people do by 26.
I came close to marriage when I was 21. I remember thinking, "Well, this timeline works." Turns out, nothing else did. It was a disaster. It was scary and painful, and God did a miraculous work to derail that train. I learned a lot about God's sovereignty through that experience.
Thank you Jesus!
That scared some sense into me and made me realize it would be much better to never marry than to marry the wrong person.
After that fiasco, I remember thinking, "23 sounds like a good age to marry." I guess this is why, when an eligible young man started calling in my 23rd year, I was so quick to think, "This is it! Exactly as I'd planned!". Despite very important differing opinions and views, I thought I'd found him. So even though we hadn't grown very close, it was painful letting go of my 'plan'.
'My plan'. I'm sure if you think hard enough, we all have our own 'plan'.
Like making small goals for myself while jogging ("If I can just make it to the mailbox"), I guess having a 'plan' can help make the 'unknowns' of life more endurable.
Really, you do have to make plans. The important thing is to make your plans according to scripture, and allowing God's plans to replace yours when they differ.
For example, I have a plan for how I will approach the possibility of marriage.
I will not consider any man, unless he shows himself to be a biblical christian. I will not enter into a 'relationship' unless it is with the express purpose of evaluating someone for marriage. I will not encourage or tolerate any premature physical displays of affection.
This is my plan and I believe it to be biblical. However, I have not planned when, how, where or whom I will marry. I know better than to try to do that.
In Proverbs, it says : The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
That is how I signed my letter of refusal 5 years ago (on May 21st). I think it was as much for me as it was for him.
I was able to surrender to the Lord's direction once He showed me how faulty my plans were.
Lord God, help me to be ever mindful of Your plans; "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
Help me to surrender my plans when they don't line up with Yours. And finally, help me to trust You and Your plan for my future. There's no better place to be than in Your sovereign Hands. Amen.