Last weekend I did this thing. I ran a half marathon. I want to put a disclaimer here: many people have done way harder things than that - I am proud I did it, but equally not writing this to puff myself up. So disclaimer aside: I ran a half marathon...around my neighborhood. The race I originally signed up for was canceled due to the pandemic, BUT I had committed to training so I kept going. I was hesitant to do it because our plates are a little full...well a lot full...and training for that mileage can be time intensive, but a friend asked me to train with her and I said “yes” because I love her and not-so-secretly wanted an excuse to see her even more. While initially it looked like I took something time-intensive on, what I found with the time I spent - my feet hitting the pavement - was that it actually created space. A space I didn't currently have, or rather I didn't allow myself to have: I couldn’t text or respond to texts, or busy myself with making beds, making lists or planning the next thing...I couldn’t fall into the normal rhythm of distraction (even distracted doing good things). It was just me, my worship music and God. I found space to worship deeper, to awe at my Creator for the clouds, sun, trees and birds - and thank Him for eyes to see and a heart that recognizes His wonder in all of it; I thanked Him for the body He gave me that allows me to put in these miles. I prayed for others more intentionally than I have ever done. The prayer time was the biggest surprise and equally a blessing to my heart. Not only was I able to regularly go to the Father on behalf of people in my life (praying for anything from guidance, healing, peace to begging for salvation for those in my life who are lost), but the Lord was gracious during this training to show me how my prayers were being heard and allowed me to witness some “yeses” in a short period of time. So last Saturday I ran a half marathon, but really it wasn't about the race...the best part of it all was that I spent 12 weeks in a new, quieter space to further fall in love with my God.
God can use anything to draw us in. We are surrounded by His glory with everything He created:
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:16-17
God went before me, creating a space I didn’t intentionally seek out; then He drew me in through this space He brought me into - which could have easily been self-focused, and frankly would have been left to my own devices - to bring me into a deeper love for Jesus.
So I ask myself and you (the same question 5 different ways ;) ):
Can you find some space for just you and Jesus?
Do you even want to? If the answer is no here, sit with why that is a no. There is a why there - I'd encourage you to dig deep to get to that why.
Where do you need to make room to experience God in a deeper way? What is your heart desiring more than Him, or what do you tend to focus on instead of God during your day? Ask God to reveal the idols of your heart.
Where is He so evidently showing His goodness, but distraction is taking your eyes off of Him?
How can you love God more today in exactly the place and circumstances you are in?
Because here's the thing - we don't have to invite Him into the moments, He doesn't need to enter a space you create. He is already there right in the midst of the moments of stillness as much as those moments of busy-ness. We are the ones who need to join Him in them.
I named my blog "Out of the Ordinary" when I started it a couple years ago, and that is exactly what this amazing God has done for me - He has shown me that living with Him brings joy in a way I have never experienced before knowing Jesus. It has brought a freedom in my life that breaks free the chains of living in an ordinary world of striving, fleeting satisfaction, keeping up and discontentment. So today I thank God for the space He created for me to experience even deeper this anything-but-ordinary God we have.