Running in Circles

By Jill Lord

Running in Circles? Not in God’s View.

My husband and I managed to escape for a few days on a cruise recently. Thankfully this ship had a decent running track on an upper level, so I wasn’t confined to a tread mill nor a tiny little track. I found a sign that stated 5 ½ times around equaled 1 mile. Perfect! My first morning on the ship, I turned on my music and wondered if the GPS on my apple watch would work in the middle of the sea. I’d find out. I hit start and was off. I loved the view of nothing but God’s vast ocean, a few early risers heading towards breakfast, and workers preparing the ship for the day. I loved the warmth of the Caribbean morning sun, the sea breeze in my hair which made me remove my cap before it got blown off my head, and the distant aroma of coffee and breakfast cooking.

After a couple laps, my watch voice told me of my mile completion at 3 minutes and 34 seconds. What? I seriously have never run that pace, and secondly, I’d only completed 2 laps. Guess GPS wasn’t accurate at sea. Didn’t matter. I counted my laps. After another 3 minutes and 34 second block, I was told I’d completed 2 miles. Well, at least

nike-watch

I love my apple Nike+ watch!

she was consistent. I told myself I wouldn’t need this app the next day.

As I continued running looking over the ocean, it hit me and I began laughing. The app was working perfectly. Not only was it picking up my running, but also the advancement of the boat through the water. I was on a moving vessel.  For all you physics geniuses, you can figure out the speed of the boat, my pace running on the forward stretches into the wind, minus the backwards facing stretches with the wind at my back to equal the pace and mileage and knottage. Counting the laps sufficed for me.

Then the parable hit me. Don’t we get so consumed with our tasks that we don’t see our advancement in God’s kingdom? We may feel we’re working our hardest at a goal, only to meet resistance, setbacks, even failures. We may feel like we’re literally running in circles. But with God’s grace and in God’s views, we’re still advancing. Each failure brings us closer to Him, closer to the dream He has for us though we may not see it. The resistance we face helps us lean on Him more. The setbacks cause us to explore more options, depend on His guidance, seek His ways. While we may feel like we’re still standing on the starting block, we’re actually on our way to becoming more of the people God intends for us to be, closer to accomplishing His dreams for us, closer to the goals He has in store for us.

So, don’t give up if you haven’t achieved your dream, if you keep falling short of your goals. Life is not a sprint to the finish line. It’s more of a never-ending marathon, running around the same laps on a moving vessel. You’re making progress! Though it may seem you’re right back where you started, God in all His Wisdom, Mercy, and Grace is moving you along so that you’re much closer towards your goal. He’s accomplishing more in you than you could ever have imagined.  Keep the faith, my friends, and run your race knowing God is moving you along at His perfect speed.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

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