Stop using God and let God use you. That is not an original thought of mine. I heard it said. It just resonated with me. Our liberties in Christ should not be placed above what brings Him glory. Often, it means to “not seek your own” (1 Corinthians . 13:5)
A little over a month ago, I set a fitness goal for myself. I wanted to run a 10 minute mile. I found a running plan for beginners online and followed it. To train for it, the plan has you walking and running in increasing intervals until you can run 30 minutes straight. I did not set my run speed at 6.0 MPH which is the pace to run a mile in 10 minutes. I set my speed at 5.0 (a mile in 12 minutes). I was excited, nervous, and scared about this goal. There was no one watching me, cheering me on, or encouraging me. I told few people about it. The ones I told didn’t ask me how my progress was going. I preferred they didn’t. I would have received it as pressure especially early on. Nevertheless, many times I longed for someone to come up to me while I was running my intervals on the treadmill and tell me that I could do it and to not quit.
No one was going to come over to me. I don’t know people like that at my gym yet. So, while I’ve been running, wishing the three minutes I had left to do were three seconds, I would pray and ask God to “kick in” for me. What did I mean by that? Your guess is as good as mine.
I was treating the Holy Spirit as if He was nitrous oxide; a button to push to give me an instant jolt to hurry up and complete the task at hand. I remember trying to think on why I was praying this while I was running but I was so focused on finishing my time without constantly looking at the clock that I couldn’t meditate on that. When I heard that statement above, I had a chance to reflect on myself and realized that God does not “kick in” for you. Not in that way anyway. We are here to serve Him. We were created for Him and for His good pleasure. We Christians have gotten that thing completely twisted now to think that God is here to serve us. No. No. No.
I haven’t been to the gym since I realized what I was doing. Now, when I am in the heat of the run, wishing the time was up when I have three minutes still to go, I will remember whose idea it was to set this goal in the first place 🙂 I will remember that God is not a genie.
(Originally penned 2010)