Friday, April 10, 2015

Really, Truly Trusting God

Trust is a difficult thing. Lack of trust breaks up relationships. Many people have trust issues. I certainly have my own set of trust issues. 

Obviously, I'm getting ready for the 24 hour world championships, which start in 21 hours, and I'm trying to heal a "95% chance" of a fibula stress fracture. Those are not mutually conducive goals.  

In many ways I do trust God above all else. I feel that many of the things I do exemplify that, because death really does not scare me the way it scares most people. Yet trusting God to handle an unknown is not that hard really. In other words, trying to really conceptualize death is difficult, because there is so little that is as permanent as death in the human world. Similarly, people may understand the science of climate change, but it seems so overwhelming, so big with no easy solutions, we continue to use disposable cups and silverware when using a cup or spoon we can wash would be better. Another example, the universe is so big, that just trying to imagine how small we are in it is really beyond comprehension, at least for me.

Where trust gets difficult is in the minutia of daily life. I have not run more than 17 miles a week in the last six weeks. How am I going to run for 24 hours tomorrow? I have a broken leg, or two. As I watch my teammates trot off on a run and I head back in to the medical table to have my legs and hips worked on again a part of me asks, 'what I am doing here?' In this situation it is easy to yell and scream at God, or reject his very existence. 'Why these six weeks of pain? What did I do to deserve this? I'm going to fall on my face tomorrow!' Yet those are the wrong things to say. I know many of the things I have done wrong, and frankly, I don't deserve the privilege of running or walking ever again.  Still, it's hard to accept the fact that I need some suffering, some failure, some rejection, to appreciate the blessings I have. Why does it have to be that way? Why can't I just appreciate blessings and gifts as soon as I hear about them instead of having a setback and a difficulty to make me appreciate what I have?

I don't know what will happen tomorrow. There is a myriad of possibilities. But! I do know, and it's taken me crying on at least six of the last nine days and barely running for six weeks to realize it, whatever happens Saturday and Sunday will be for my benefit, and quite likely the benefit of others as well. It may not be pretty and I may not understand why what happens tomorrow happens, but every step is a blessing, every lap is a blessing, the support system Team USA has here in Turin, Italy is a blessing, and in the odd chance I never run another step let alone another race after this, this race and my whole 14 year running career has been a blessing.

As a post script, people sometimes confuse trusting God with neglecting to seek human help, and that is totally the wrong path because relationships are often one of the greatest blessings and opportunities we have. I have talked to five doctors (not counting my doctor friend in Austrialia), two medical students and my massage therapist about this leg issue, and several of them on multiple occasions. I've had x-rays, I've had six people twist and bend my foot and leg trying to help. The point is, to once again quote the book of the Bible I was named after, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:9 Which is to say, sometimes life won't make sense to us, but it is for our benefit.

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