Monday, March 12, 2012

Jesus Didn't Jog

It started with listening to a sermon about Jesus, who stopped to take a break from his long walk, and met the famed 'woman at the well'.

Never one to excel at staying on task, my brain took off chasing rabbits down trails - Jesus walked. Even when he had an entire desert to cross, even when his dear friend Lazarus was on his deathbed, even when the wine had run out and they were going to have to drink water, he took his time. He never got in a hurry.

It hit me like a ton of bricks - Jesus didn't jog. There is no scripture supporting Jesus running to and fro, in a tizzy, feeling like his hair was on fire, thinking up gracious excuses (fibs) when he walked into the temple 10 minutes late.

My mind went back to that year when - blame it on spring fever - I decided to go for a jog. Knowing I'd look and feel foolish I took a 'pace car' with me. Lindy's ball and squirrel chasing days had long ago passed but she was always ready to go for a ride. She put her front paws on the seat of the van and waited. I lifted and shoved the rest of her big hairy body, arthritic joints and all, and we were off.

We started on the trail with her a few feet behind me. The look on her grey/white face told me it was the leash, not love that kept her there. We started off at a pace that could barely be called more than a shuffle. The wind blowing through the tops of the trees, daffodils and crocus poking their heads up alongside the path, bicycles coming from the other direction,  all of it got under my skin and I started to jog. She followed behind, head down and tail tucked with the pads of her paws flopping against the pavement.

Then all of a sudden, in the middle of the path all 55 pounds of her laid down and would not move. People and bicycles and strollers passed us by while I pulled on her leash. No go. I knelt down, right in the middle of that trail and talked sugar to her. Next I tried getting her to a standing position.  Not trusting me to have a lick of sense in my head, she would have none of it. She simply laid there, turning her head left and right, taking in the smell of those daffodils and crocus - now at nose level, watching the squirrels chasing around the base of the tree nearby, and tennis shoes flying by. I sat down and together we enjoyed the view, or at least she did. I was busy feeling like a fool.

Eventually rested, and having made her point crystal clear, she stood up, turned around and began the walk back to the van, leash dragging on the ground beside her. This time I followed; she set the pace.

I've never jogged again. My knees don't have it in them, but I've also realized I can feel the wind blowing through the tops of the trees, and my hair, by walking or even standing still. There is always, always much to be done, but just like Jesus, I don't have to get in a hurry. It is the learned behavior of our society that I can unlearn. It is the badge we sometimes wear with pride but I don't have to pin it to my chest.

As I came back to the sermon, from the rabbit trail I'd gone down, I heard our pastor say, "God never intended us to live at this crazy pace. I know He didn't."

'Lord, help me to be as wise as my old dog. Amen.'

7 comments:

Linds said...

Brilliant, Bev. You nailed it. And you know what? It had never occurred to me before either. Jesus didn't jog. I think I am going to stick that on the wall to remind me. Thank you!

Kelly said...

What a great visual reminder, for those times I am running around in a frenzy. I agree wholeheartedly that we were not meant to live at the pace society insists on. Slowing down is good.

Renna said...

Wonderful post! You should have your own syndicated column somewhere! ;-)

Susanne said...

I needed this Bev! Sometimes I feel like my "hair is constantly on fire".

FunMom said...

I'm with Renna!! So well written, Mama!! Love you!

Susan Donald said...

Hi Bev, I agree with Renna also! I think you could record your blogs in a book - I would buy it!
This is great as it reminds me to slow down!
Have a great mission trip & stay close to Don so he can speak for both of you! We will miss you at the HS Gals Luncheon but there is always the next one!
Hugs,
Susan D

Faith said...

wow I really needed to read this today! i discovered you from Susanne at living to tell the story! I LOVED this and it is very timely!!! God bless you!!