Saturday, September 11, 2010

Watch where you're going

There is nothing quite like getting up before sunrise, on a chilly fall morning, and running a forest trail. J It’s the kind of trail where you have to watch every step you take. You are climbing over rocks, running through streams, and getting slapped in the face by recoiling branches pushed out of the way by the person running directly in front of you. It’s that kind of fun! This morning afforded me the privilege of doing this with a couple of friends.

(Part of Gunpowder Trail)
(Johnson Mill area - Bel Air, MD)

In all the times I’ve run these particular off-road trails, I noticed something today I hadn’t been aware of before…how important timing and tempo are. There are moments as we make our way down the trail that you immediately have to slow down, and then choose the right place to take your next step because of loose rocks or roots that have grown up. Your timing is so important on these trails because you don’t just keep the same pace throughout your run. If you do, eventually you’re going to eat a ‘gravel sandwich’.

I caught myself thinking of these things during my run today, and came to the conclusion that all of this boils down to one thing: FOCUS.

(Bikes @ Darlington Harley Davidson)
(Darlington, MD)
One moment of taking my eyes off the trail, or not paying attention to what is lying ahead of me has the potential to cause my body quite a bit of pain. 
This happens in the world of sports, business, and life…lose your focus, even for a split second, and you can find yourself in a world of hurt. What happens is - we become so preoccupied with the beauty around us that we lose sight of what is important. We are so focused on the end result that we forget one of the most important 
details . . . like where to place our next step. 

Proverbs 4:25-26 (NLT) says, “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.”

Before we were ever born, Christ chose each one of us. He chose our path, our process, and our purpose. Just like the guide markings found on any good trail, He has placed signposts along the way to show us the safe path. He even said, ‘the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.

We choose. 
We make the decision to get off the path…when we lose focus. And that begins to affect our timing and tempo to the point where we end up inflicting pain upon our own selves.

We run…when we should have walked. We keep moving…when we should have stood still. We must stop rushing in the effort to reach our prize.

Re-gain focus today…and pay attention to your next step.

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1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Larry. It's really one step at a time.

    You should link up some weekend to Spiritual Sundays. At first glance, it seems like it's an all-female gig, but there are a couple of male bloggers, as well, and at least one retired minister among the group (Clif). I know your writing would be welcomed.