I often go for a run in the mornings and on these runs I pray and talk with God. I get my insight and instructions for the day ahead and correction, if needed, for the day behind. This morning as I began my run The Lord told me, “take it easy, don’t run, just walk.” I complied, waiting for the order to run. See I’m use to running wide-open, and at the end of my route I collapse and have to lay their a while and recover before I am able to get back on the path and head home. So being use to this routine of all-out exertion followed by all-out exhaustion, I anxiously awaited His command to run wanting to get going and see this done as soon as possible. Well, that order never came. What did come was an ok to pick up the pace to a swift but steady walk. Just fast enough to make good time but still slow enough to not easily ware out.
Moving at this steady pace, I got to the end of my route rather quickly and started the trek back. Wanting yet again to run, knowing my destination was near, The Lord spoke to me again saying: “Don’t run ahead of Me or you will get to your destination in a useless state. Keep a swift but steady pace. You will cover more ground that way then with wide-open sprints followed by periods of burnout.” I knew He was talking about my run, but then I knew He really wasn’t. You see, the worse part about the burnout is that it is so hard to get back up from it and get back on the path again. At best, we waste a lot of time, and at worse, it discourages us from continuing to run the race altogether.
We tend to do this a lot in our Christian walk as well. God shows us a promise, a vision, or a destination and we run with all our might trying to obtain it as soon as possible in our own strength, and we leave Him, His wisdom, His power, His plan, and His strength behind in the process. We begin to depend on our enthusiasm, our stamina, and our own understanding to get us to where we want to be quickly. This is a very dangerous thing to do as a Christian. When we arrogantly over estimate our own strength and run ahead of God we will find ourselves running alone into dangerous terrain filled with stumbling blocks, wrong paths, shady characters, and inevitably, burnout.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it;…” – Habakkuk 2:3
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:28-31
God’s timing is perfect, His plans and paths are never without cause, nor His delays without purpose. We have to learn to fully trust in, listen to, and wait upon The Lord in all things. We must always move at God’s pace so that we are able to lean on Him when we get weak, and be instructed by Him when we are strong. This will not only ensure that you are able to make it to the destination, but also that you will be in a usable state when you get their. Remember, it’s not a race of speed, it’s a race of consistency. Run the race with obedience and endurance and you’ll avoid the burnout.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” – Hebrews 12:1