So I can be a very competitive person. I don’t like to lose and I treat things as competitions even when they are not. When I believe I am losing this imaginary competition, a bunch of thoughts enter my mind; and when I feel that I am winning, a new set of voices start to chime in. Do you ever have an unnecessary “chatterbox” going on in your head, especially when you are comparing yourself to others?
Take for example when I run with my husband (I use the term “run” loosely). When we first start out together it is great because we keep the same pace.
Chatterbox says: “this is great, spending time with my husband” then “how long do you really think you can keep up this pace, you are 40 pounds heavier than when you used to run regularly.”
Shortly after starting out, he pulls ahead of me as he runs and I am left still huffing and puffing behind him.
Chatterbox says: “Let him run. He is a guy and he is going to run faster than you.” then “look at how he runs with ease and at how out of breath you are, remember when you used to run 6 miles and not flinch and now you can barely run 2 miles and you’re down for the count, what happened?”
The chatterbox can be so mean! So that is just one example of when the “chatterbox” strikes, I’m sure you can think of your own example.
Look at her. Look at him. Insert comparison here.
Think about how the chatterbox works when we are running with God and not ahead of Him or behind Him. Think about this is relation to God’s plan for your life.
- when we are running ahead of God, we think our plans are better and we do everything in our own strength to make it happen. We can become prideful and boastful and feel that we don’t need to wait on God’s timing because we can play God. The chatterbox here can fill our head with flattery and make us feel invincible, but this false sense of security is short-lived as God is faithful to remind us of where He fits in in OUR plans.
- when we are running behind God, we are thinking that we are no good and can’t measure up or are not worth what God has in store for us. Often times, this is when fear holds us back from accomplishing all that God has for us. The chatterbox here fills our head with doubt and insecurity. We become terrified to make the wrong move and therefore make no move, stopping our kingdom purpose because of our inactivity.
- when we are running with God our steps are in line with His, and we are in perfect rhythm. We are careful to consult God for direction and clarity and when He says jump, we jump. We are confident that He is looking out for us. (where is the chatterbox here?)
So how do we run with God, instead of behind or in-front of Him?
- stay in the word.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
- prayer. Make Psalm 25 part of your daily prayer to trust God to direct you where He wants you to be.
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!
As spring approaches and the weather warms up, I invite you to think about this next time you are outside walking or running. What does it look like to run/walk with God and what signs are you experiencing that you may be trying to go ahead or are lagging behind? Ultimately whether we walk or run it’s not about how fast we are going, it is about letting God set our pace.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21.