Psalm 23:3 ‘He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.’
A fellow blogger, who is a Christian and a runner, used this verse in his blog today. I read his post as I was sitting down to write in my blog. It is so fitting for my running experience today. (At least most of it…:o))
Let me set it up…I was in Knoxville attending a two day personal training certification. Knowing this would be my first long run on my own and in a unfamiliar city, I emailed the local running store…Fleet Feet. I wanted to know if they had a running group that met on Saturdays or if they could give me route suggestions. Thankfully, I received a quick response. Yes, they had a group run. But it started at 7:00. (I had to be done by 7:00 because my certification class started at 8:00.) Yes, the had routes. But, they were confusing for people not familiar with them…especially in the dark. So…with that being said…what was I going to do?
Well, then I read on…she offered to run the first half of my 14 mile run with me. This is awesome. Now, my husband and friends were questioning the fact I was running with a stranger at 4:45 in the morning…but the Lord worked it out. She worked at the store. She organized the runs for the store. She knew the routes and was my own running tour guide. So, with this He refreshed my soul. 🙂 He led me on the right paths thanks to her…but, it also led me to some other right paths I hadn’t planned.
He refreshed my soul with high heat, sticky humidity and steep hills. I say this facetiously, to a point. Really, my soul needed rest…Not a 14 mile run. 🙂 It is hard to admit that when you are training. But, as I sat through my personal training class, we discussed fatigue and failure. We discussed how our bodies need rest so we don’t experience fatigue and failure to the point where we can’t go on. Failure is good in some instances…but not on a planned long run.
So,when we got to the half way point and it was time for me to run on my own…I knew for the first time…the right path would be to walk away and go back to the hotel. For those of you training, you know this is NOT the mindset we have or want. No…I had to push through…I had to pray for strength and keep going. But, I couldn’t…I needed to refresh my soul in a different way today. I needed rest. I needed the quiet waters. (which I found in the sprinklers in the front of the hotel.)
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, (Psalm 23:2 NIV)
I needed Him to restore me and my body. I was working on 3 1/2 hours of sleep – because I had to sit in class and study for a test on Saturday. My heel has been a pain the last 2 weeks and it needs rest. I needed the feel of green pastures by just being still. The Lord knew…but I didn’t.
To say I wasn’t disappointed would be a lie. I was running with a new friend, in a new area and new distance…I wanted to do well and I failed. But, I didn’t. I was refreshed in a way I never anticipated. My soul was refreshed. I was able to do something I have a hard time time doing…saying NO and listening to my body. That was a success!
The lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1 NIV)
The Lord was my guide down the right path today. Am I okay with not meeting my goal? Yes! I lack nothing with Him. He is our shepherd. He will lead us if we listen. We need to be in tune with God like we are with our body. We need to listen to God like we listen to our body. If we are not in tune with either and miss the signals we are receiving from both then we will fail in a way that will injure our walk and our run!
On a side note…I got home from Knoxville and refreshment was awaiting my body and my soles.(see picture)