Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beautiful Feet

There are two words that all runners never want to hear: Stress Fracture.

Unfortunately, this happened to be the case for me.

I had just come off of a career best indoor season, primed for a great outdoor season- had a few good early tune-ups just in time before Texas Relays and Big XII's. Seemed like a new 5k PR was in my sights at last after a hard few months of training.

But the Lord had a different plan for me: a small little fracture in my right foot. 

Instead of the track or the open roads, my world consisted of doctors offices and swimming pools.

The last two months of my life have been definitely out of sync, no running, occasional cross training or pool workouts, but without running, things have seemed out of rhythm.

I've had a lot of free time while I've been out of commission, and it's been a time to reflect and ask God some tough questions. I was driving home a friend from school one day and she told me, "Matt, you have worked so hard to get where you are, I don't understand why God would allow you to get injured."

That was a question I struggled with a lot.

It's hard to watch on the sidelines, its hard going to rehabs and X-rays, when your teammates are out giving it their all on the track. You want to be with them, you want to have that feeling of satisfaction, the one you get when you have run your hardest, and know their is nothing you could have done to make your race any better. Every runner wants and strives for this feeling. And when that opportunity is stripped from you, its hard.

However, I have had an incredible peace about the whole process. The doctors said it was okay to be angry, it was ok to be frustrated. But I wasn't… at all.

I've realized something that has completely changed my perspective on injury:
If my goal is to glorify Christ with running, then why would I be discouraged with an injury? I can use an injury to glorify Christ with my attitude. I can use an injury to open up great conversations with people to tell them about the peace that the Lord has given me!

Romans 10:15 says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

With this perspective, everything has changed. The glass is half full for me.
My "broken" foot, has now become a "beautiful foot," because I can use it to make Christ's name more known!

Life is hard, there is no doubt. Look around us- West Explosions, Boston Marathon Bombings… just 5 minutes of watching the news will clear any doubt that life is hard. But let me tell you, yes life is hard, but Christ is the only way we can get through our trials and struggles in life. And my words mean nothing, Christ is the only one who can truly change our hearts.

My prayer is that we all can find peace and satisfaction through Christ, no matter what comes our way.

my hero, Eric Liddell, in Chariots of Fire said it best,

"Who am I to say, "believe," "have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in his or her own way. And where does the power come from to see the race to its end? From within,

Jesus said, "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts you truly seek Me, then you shall ever surely find Me."  
If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, than THAT is how you run the straight race!