Forget About “How?” Relax a Bit and Just Run

When Lolo Jones tells of her fall on the 9th hurdle of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in the Women’s 100m Hurdles gold medal race, she simply says, “I should have just relaxed a bit and just run.” When she fell, Jones was winning the race and on her way to a gold medal.

Jones’ thoughts before the fall centered on how she should be running and jumping. “I was telling myself to make sure you don’t get sloppy in your technique,” she says in a Time, July 30, 2012 interview. “So I overtried. I tightened up a bit too much. That’s when I hit the hurdle.”

While none of us will run in a race in the Olympics, or even qualify for the Olympics in any sport for that matter, we can relate to the idea of over-trying, tightening up and crashing. At least, I know I definitely can.

When I do crash, I realize that I was focusing too much on “How?” How can I strengthen my faith? How can I stop worrying? How can I have more patience, kindness and self control? How can I trust Him more?

I all too often forget to “relax, and just run” and let what I have learned, the foundation that has been secured for me (1 Corinthians 3:11), become automatic and to naturally flow from me as I focus on Christ.

It’s at these times that the Holy Spirit gently impresses on me the realization that I am over-thinking the “How?” of living my life for Christ.

 “Faith comes by hearing…” (Romans 10:17)

“Ask, and it will be given…” (Matthew 7:7)

Seek, and you will find…” (Matthew 7:7)

“Wait on the Lord…”(Psalm 27:14)

Hear. Ask. Seek. Wait.

When I finally “relax and just run,” (Hebrews 12:1), I am able to “hear… ask… seek… and wait” in a way that makes all the weight of trying to figure out “How?” fall away.

All that entangles, all the hurdles in my path, falls away as I focus on “the author and perfector” of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). When I stop thinking about “How?” so much, I loosen up, quit trying so hard to figure life out, and let God be God. Only then am I truly able to run the race marked out for me with victory.

Do you need to “relax and just run”? What weights keep currently keep you from running the race with victory?

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5 thoughts on “Forget About “How?” Relax a Bit and Just Run

  1. I certainly think we do not need to be reading the operator's manual as we are operating. We need to be prepared and then we need to rely on our preparation and go with that. If we need more then maybe we need to step back and retrain before we embark again.

    I struggle with victory when I know I have not prepared myself and try to push through anyway. At times I know God bails me out. :)

    • We definitely need to prepare and then do our best to live out that preparation, learning from mistakes and not over-thinking. I think retraining needs to be a constant effort, and I think we need coaches to help us do that (next Wednesday's post will address this). I am learning to prepare, prepare, prepare and then let God take that preparation and go with it.

      • Having done some coaching, I agree with what you're saying here, Kari. We coach and run through drills so that when the game starts a player just plays. I remember one particular football player who spent too much time thinking and was always a half step behind where he needed to be. He improved dramatically when he stopped figuring out how to play and just started playing.

  2. You know, this is tricky. I can make all sorts of arguments for either way. Ultimately, I guess it's about finding the middle road and not being too sloppy and not being too rigid. It's worth thinking about, though, to see if you are leaning one way or the other too much.

    • I can see both ways too. For me, I tend to jump in and do before hearing from God. I have gotten in the way of His will too many times, and I am trying now to better allow Him to direct my steps. On the other hand, I know there are people who do no planning and who need to take action more often. So, I get what you're saying for sure.

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