Studies on Joy #3 Joy comes from being on the right road
A few years ago I ran a night-leg at a Ragnar race with my family (sorry for another running analogy 🙄). In the beginning, there were lots of runners around me, each wearing little red lights and a bunch of sidewalk signs pointing the way at every turn.
After a mile or two, I went for a long stretch without seeing other runners or a turn sign and I found myself annoyed. I was frustrated at the lack of light, water support, and signage...and exhausted by the hilly, rocky terrain. I should have caught on to the problem earlier but I was determined to keep running so I could make it to RV (and the ibuprofen 😉).
Around mile 4, I happened to look over and see a smattering of tiny red lights in the distance. Somehow I had missed a turn and veered onto my own dark course. No wonder there weren't any signs or water stations! It took me some time to work my way over but eventually I made it back to the right course...and the relief-filled RV.
Sometimes in life, I'm like that. I pound on the doors of heaven, asking for blessings and direction so I can pursue the road I think looks right. I get frustrated about the lack of clear direction, grumble over the lack of spiritual aid, and feel irritated by the rugged road beneath my feet. I feel forgotten.
At times, those feelings come from God’s desire to teach me patience and humility, but for me, it’s often because I’m on the wrong road; doggedly refusing to look up and see the lights in the distance.
Hebrews 12:1 compels us to “run with patience the race that is set before us". In my life, I've learned over and over again that joy comes when we are running the right race; the race He set for us. We might find bursts of happiness on our own, easier road but the soul-strengthening joy we all seek comes only through aligning our will with His.
If we are struggling, we need to slow down and look up. We need to search for the little red lights of the Spirit around us...guiding us home. And if they aren't on our path we need to be brave enough to change course. It’s so hard at times, but I promise, the RV full of family, food and relief will be worth every extra step. #seekjoy #byuwomensconf