Does Jesus Infiltrate Everything in Your Life?
MCGEE NALL // SENIOR
I’m training for the Chick-fil-A Half this semester, and I’m determined to get a PR. A couple of weeks before my first try in 2016, my calves and Achilles were hurting (probably due to my lack of hill training). I ran-walked the race, which is fine, but my high school cross country coaches’ voices were in my head the whole time, screaming, “MCGEE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU CAN’T STOP!!!” So walking felt like a failure to me, which is dumb, but true.
Last year, I made it to the seven-mile part of my training when I decided to lose all sense and logic. I (sort of) played pick-up basketball with my buddies… and I fractured my foot.
I don’t like to talk about it.
ANYWAYS. Now I’m training for my last Chick-fil-A Half, as sort of a final “hoorah” and “TAKE THAT” before graduating in May. I’m trying to be more careful building up my mileage, since I probably increased too fast in 2015. So a couple of Saturdays ago, I had written on my nifty running calendar thingy that I needed to run four miles.
You should also know for the sake of this story that I’m a staff photographer for The Red & Black, and had signed up to cover the women’s tennis match that afternoon at 1pm. My lovely Saturday morning was slipping away from me rapidly, and before I knew it, it was the now-or-never moment to run these four miles. But did I have enough time??? I’m notorious for being late sometimes, and I could not afford to be late for this match. “Should I just wait and run afterwards?” I thought. “No, because it’s going to rain after the match, and I HATE running on the treadmill. I have to go right now.”
I had exactly 35 minutes to run these four miles. If you’re good at math, that’s an 8:45 pace, if consistent all the way through. While I’ve been focusing on speed the past month or so (I’m usually a 9 or 9:15-minute-per-mile kind of girl), that still made me nervous. There was little room for error on this.
You’re probably thinking a couple of things. 1. Why does this girl stress so much about a stupid run? And 2. Why the heck is she walking us through this process?
I’m telling you all this because the Lord coached me through this run. I’m not kidding. And I finished the four miles in 35:07.
“Uh…what the heck does that even mean?”
I’ll tell you. Right when I took off, I immediately analyzed my pace. “Am I going too fast? You can’t burn out now, because then you’ll feel like dying halfway through, and your pace will slow down.”
I think the Lord and I are close enough to where I feel His presence and hear His voice a lot. But this time it was super clear—God jumped into my inner dialogue.
“Want to try asking Me about any of this?”
Think about it. Who is omniscient? Who created my body? Who created time? Who knows the intricacies of how my muscles churn and contract while charging up a hill, or pounding on flat pavement? Who knows exactly how my body should operate to finish four miles in 35 minutes?
Our God does.
So for the next thirty-five minutes and seven seconds, the Lord and I talked. If I felt something problematic arising, I would tell Him (silently…I wasn’t interested in freaking out the pedestrians in Five Points).
“Crap, I feel nauseous. What the heck?!” Before my confidence plummeted, the Lord would calm me down. “You’re fine. You’re FINE. Just keep running.”
I won’t give you a play-by-play of my bodily happenings, but the Lord and I had a dialogue while on a run. How. Cool. Is. THAT?! When I got back to my car in 35:07, I couldn’t help but laugh. I made it to the tennis match early and had a grand ole time, satisfied I finished my workout before the rain descended.
He really does know what He’s doing.
Why am I telling you this? Because I think a lot of us compartmentalize God in ways we don’t even realize. We associate Him with prayer, quiet times, church, small group, sharing the gospel with strangers, having theological debates with our roommates, showing acts of kindness, serving those around us, etc.
YES, He is absolutely in all those things. But whether we realize it or not, the Almighty God of the universe is involved in every. single. aspect of your life. When you’re pumping iron at the gym, strengthening the healthy body He gave you to accomplish His work; when you’re working calculus homework or studying for an o-chem test, learning about our Creator who designed the intricacies of mathematics, molecules, and elements; when you see a vibrant sunset on your way home from a stressful work shift; what you eat; what time you need to go to sleep…ALL THESE THINGS point to the God you and I desire to know. He shows up in ways we can’t even imagine.
There’s a reason Paul told the Corinthians, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
Do you see Him that way? Do you intentionally seek His face (1 Chron. 16:11)? Do you start your day in surrender to Him and watch to see what He’ll do next?
Don’t put God in a box. Let’s model David’s example from Psalm 5:3, one of my all-time favorite verses: