I started a running program about three weeks ago. Surprisingly, I have really enjoyed it and feel SO much better. And even though I’m as slow as molasses, I keep on keepin’ on.
And I was keepin’ on…UNTIL…I developed shin splints. Posterior shin splints to be exact. Painful and sad. I was really enjoying my new hobby, and now it was miserable.
After some research on the Internet, and talking to some runner friends, everyone agreed that I needed new shoes. Running shoes, actually. Because what I had were just some old tennis shoes, probably made for biking or something, but hey, at least they were cute!
Well, the other day, Grant and I took off to the running store. I ran on a treadmill, they asked me about my pain, and took a look at my feet. After all the information was gathered they brought out three pairs for me to try. I am happy to say after much debate we left with a new pair of shoes that should stabilize me so this doesn’t happen again.
After resting for a few days, I woke up this morning ready to try out my new shoes. After the kids headed out with Grant, I headed to the track. With Jesus music blaring, a smile on my face, breathing heavy enough for the whole track to hear and running slow as molasses, I rounded the corner and I spotted him.
Across the street an elderly man was on the ground. I pulled out one headphone and yelled, “Are you ok?” He didn’t hear me, so I walked into the grass in his direction yelling louder, “You ok?”
“Well…” He said.
As I headed in his direction I realized he was having trouble getting off the ground. I started jogging through the grass and BAM—right foot landed in a mud puddle. My brand new shoes on their debut run now sported brown mud all across the toe of my right foot.
My mind was growling, but my attention was focused on the frail old man. When I reached him, he was bleeding from his knee where a hole was torn in his pants. His glasses, book, and paper were scattered out around him. His left elbow was bloody, too.
Dennis is in his 70s and was walking to the Eye Care Center. “The eye center?!” I said. That’s a good 30-minute walk for him and he’s already fallen once. Plus now he seems off balanced even more, stumbling as we talked.
I told Dennis I thought it wasn’t a good idea for him to walk that far and he agreed. I called Grant to let him know that I was taking Dennis to the Eye Center and I would call him back when I was finished.
When Dennis was safely inside and Grant was informed, my attention immediately went to my new, dirty shoe. I didn’t want to look at it. I didn’t want to get angry and spoil the moment God had just given me to help someone. And at that moment, a song caught my attention on the radio.
All to Jesus I surrender,
all to him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
all to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
You mean you want me to surrender ALL, Jesus? Not just my Sunday mornings and my quiet times and my career and my checkbook?
You mean you want me to surrender my running shoes, too?
He whispered into my heart, Yes.
I have a tendency to hold onto something as silly as running shoes. They had all the perks that I needed to carry on my new hobby, they helped my feet and legs, and they were cute, too.
But that man on the road was in need. He needed me to run through that puddle to get to him. He needed a hand to help him up. He needed a ride to the Eye Center.
I don’t need clean running shoes. Besides, they still work just fine. I needed to be obedient to what God had for me in that moment and it was a blessing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Now every time I look at my shoes and see the brown spot, I will remember that Jesus calls me to surrender ALL…not just the stuff I think He wants.
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:24, 26