Recently I decided to train with the goal of running 10 kilometres. I found a tool on my phone that calculated I would reach my goal in seventeen weeks. I was going to be running! I was going to be a runner! But wait – who am I kidding? I am not a runner – I am a walker. While I have completed 10 km runs before, that was a long time ago – seemingly a lifetime ago. Now this tool promised I will transform from walking to running for an hour. So, I chose to follow this guide rather than my inner critic and surrendered to the process. I trusted and had faith.
At first this new training was easy; I ran short intervals every other day. As weeks passed, the training became more challenging and intense, with longer running periods until finally I was jogging a long single run. At that point I wondered how quickly my intervals were going to increase and started doubting my abilities and the program. It felt like I was already running as much as I could. So, I opened the online tool and looked ahead. When I saw that the plan would have me running double my current time the following week I was plagued with doubt. Hold on, there is no way that I will be able to do that! I am going to hurt myself (I am a bit accident-prone, so this is well within the realm of possibilities). Looking ahead at the big picture did not do anything for me but invoke fear.
My relationship with God has had similar moments. Over the years there have been plenty of hardships where I questioned what had happened and worried about what was to come. And then it dawned on me. I realized that my life, our lives, are interwoven in such a complicated web of details that if God ever chose to share an overview of the big picture, I would look at it with overwhelm, with absolutely no way of comprehending and understanding the intricate system that lay before me and how everything pieces together. Just like what happened when I peeked ahead into my running training and was filled with doubt.
Instead, I have learned to surrender. I let go and have faith. I let the flow of life from God appear as its planned for me and am constantly in awe of how it all fits together. That certainly does not mean that all things that flow into my life feel good. But it does mean that even in the darkest times, in the valleys of loss, betrayal and grief, that I trust there is a purpose – things I would never be able to comprehend or understand if shown the master blueprint. As best-selling author Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment) writes “You naturally begin to center more and more on the spiritual part of your being. You do this not by reaching for the Spirit, but by letting go of the rest”.
Letting go and having faith. How do you feel about that? Whether you call your higher power God, Spirit, The Divine or something else, you are filled with the truth that you are small in this universe and knowing what is planned for your life is just not what is best for you. Having faith means believing in something you cannot see.