The other week I had two people ask me in a matter of just a few days if I was a runner. Now, I haven’t been able to run for quite some time, this question made me think about how often we define ourselves by the things we have done or are doing. Sure, I used to find identity in being a runner, a sense of pride and accomplishment come from it and I found some worth in that, I’ll admit that.
God is so gracious, isn’t He? Throughout this health journey I have been asking the Lord to give me His perspective, to continue to show me my own sin and areas of brokenness, and to empty me and fill me with His lasting peace and purpose. Because now that running is not apart of my life I am faced with the question of who am I? Why did this mean so much to me? I could find a new thing to find identity and worth from, but that wouldn’t do me any good, in fact, it would work towards my destruction instead of giving me a fuller life in Christ and just expound upon my sin. Friends, our identity is not found in the things we do—our jobs, our families, our finances, our hobbies, etc.. None of these can give us lasting purpose. Why? Because all of them could end in an instant. Yes, these things can give us great joy when walked in with humility, BUT should not be looked too to give us our identity.
In fact Solomon says this about the pleasures of this life:
“And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:10-12
So this is what I am learning, ready? I don’t, we don’t, need these things to make us whole or give us a sense of worth. We are really ok without it, whatever it is. Jesus is what we need. He gives us lasting identity, one that will never ever end. His love. His grace. His Truth. Yes, His salvation lasts forever. Freedom is found in walking in obedience to the King.
Trust me, I’m not making this up. Solomon ends his book with this:
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecc. 12:13
So I'll trust God that if He sees it fit for me to run again then I will, if not, then He knows best, my duty is to honor and obey Him. It's not burdensome, no friends, it's life!