Running and Waiting
By Roxy Kellogg of Independence, MO, USA
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. —Isaiah 11:1–2 NRSV
I was never a very good runner. I could move fast but with my short legs, it would take me longer to get there. Though I had the heart for it, the body did not respond when it came to winning races and playing softball.
When I went to Graceland and met my future husband, we began a running routine. It was a program that, when followed daily, would build up stamina and increase one’s ability to run for exercise and good health. Culminating the daily routine was a timed test run to see if you were ready to launch even further in the program. My boyfriend passed triumphantly; I failed miserably.
It was a huge disappointment but became an eye-opening moment for me. Though I couldn’t run to meet the standards of the program, I could walk and I could walk fast. Later in life I read that running only gets you there faster, and the health benefits of walking were just as valuable.
As I moved forward in life and began serving in my church, I formed an awareness of those around me. Some projects I could do well. I did not discover my hidden talents of leadership and organization until young adulthood. I often found myself running before the Lord in my eagerness to use those gifts. After my first ordination I learned the value of waiting for the Lord.
As a retiree I have plenty of time to listen and be patient for the Lord’s direction. Running is no longer needed. I take walks as much as I can. It gives me time to spend praying and thanking God for the awesome world I enjoy so much.
Prayer for Peace
Patient God, don’t give up on us. We are learning as we go. We want to learn the peaceful ways of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call in My Life
Reflect on God’s call in your life. Begin by prayerfully asking to recall particular moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to share your gifts. When has God seemed most real in your life? When have you felt disconnected or resistant to God’s call? Reflect on what you did or might do to become reconnected to God. Write in your journal or reflect on how you can develop and share you gifts with others.
Today, God, I will use my gifts to wait for you.