Hello all! Awhile back I asked my lovely friend Patience to write a guest post for my blog. I was thrilled when she sent me this piece to publish. I love her photography and writing so much and I hope you’ll go visit her at her own blog, The Brightness Project, after you read this. Enjoy!
Thump. Thump. My heart accelerates. My feet move swiftly over the gravely road and I breathe in. Breathe out. I’m training to be a runner.
I started my running journey about 15 months ago. It just seemed like something I would enjoy. Energy. Speed. Health. Sounded pretty epic. I had no idea what I was doing, but at the crack of dawn on January 1st 2014, I jumped out of bed and started running quarter mile circles in the horse’s field. One round had me breathless. So I determined to keep trying. In a few weeks, I could manage a slow mile. And every time I built up speed or distance, a feeling of accomplishment would wash over me. I wanted more.
In December of last year, I reached my goal of running 5 miles in thirty minutes. After an intense week of training with my brother, I did it. But instead of resting in my victory my head began to swim with possibilities. What will I do next?
This mindset of goal-oriented living is not just true for my athletic activities, it’s true for everything I do. When I shoot my first wedding and as the bride and groom are cutting the cake, and I imagine myself as a destination wedding photographer, traveling to foreign countries and shooting in exotic venues. When a post on my blog gets an unusual amount of attention, I begin to wonder what my next big, exciting post is going to be. And my heart wanders from mountain top to mountain top. But my feet can never seem to catch up as fast as I want them to. If God gave me talent, then he wants to bless my ventures. Right? So why aren’t things happening as fast as I think they should?
Heart pounding. Feet racing. Big dreams and bright horizons. Then I trip.
It was during an intense week of training, soon after I reached my goal of five in thirty, that I slipped into one of these daydreaming revelries that have become the norm for me. Head in the clouds, far too distant from my racing feet down below, my left foot slid on a gravel driveway, I lost my footing and fell to the ground. I rolled onto my back and squeezed my eyes shut. Then found my footing again and trotted back to the house, scolding myself for not paying enough attention to my steps.
I trip a lot. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. And not just during exercize, but equally often in my race of life. I miss things. Important things. I become absent minded for my focus on the big, bright future. Running is a beautiful thing. But it can drain your energy fast if you’re not careful. Exertion requires compensational rest. Our minds and bodies weren’t created to be able to go. go. go.
We’re so consumed with being efficient and experiencing excitement, that when we sit still, and simply listen to the world around us, we feel guilty and uncomfortable.
But God doesn’t operate in minutes and checklists. He doesn’t ask us to be ultra-efficient, American athlete/entrepreneurs 24/7. He simply asks us to follow Him. and trust. I don’t know about you, but I struggle with that concept. My identity is so closely related to status and self-image, it can be crazy hard to break away from that. But from the grace of God, I’m learning the way. And every day I have to fall on my knees and ask Him to help me try again. To let go of my fantasies. To climb down from my mountains and acknowledge the rock hard truth:
I am a human child and God is God. He is good and he is gracious. And he is taking care of me, in his perfect timing. He makes me lie down in green pastures and lays me beside the still waters. So just. let. Him. lead. you. without measuring the distance of the river, wondering how hard it would be to swim it, taking a million selfies because “that pasture tho” and staring longingly at the cliffs in the distance, wishing you could be there instead.
This message is for me. This struggle is my story right now. And if it’s your struggle as well, this message is for you.
Today, I choose to walk my way through life. To follow his footsteps quietly, gently. To listen more than I speak, to close my eyes and revel in the beauty in each and every little miracle of a moment. I choose victory over the vortex of activity and needing to always measure up to perfection. I choose to rest in the Lord’s unending grace. The green pastures. The path of beauty, simplicity, and righteousness.
What will you choose?
// bio //
Patience is a brightness chaser, joy finder, Lifestyle photojournalist and creativity blogger living in the beautiful Texas Hill country. She spends most of her time picking wildfowers, experimenting with Adobe software, socializing with her amaing family of elleven, and sharing her extraordinary ordinary, day-at-a-time life through the lens of her iPhone or Canon 6D // www.thebrightnessproject.com