I am excited about a new 5k personal best which I ran this morning here in Naperville, Chicago at the Naperville Last Fling Rooster 5k: 18:03. I also got 1st position overall.
It looks like all the power and speed workouts our group has been doing are paying off. Every Wednesday we go to the track and do intervals of various distances. Or we go to the park where there is a bit of an uphill and do repeats there. I always push hard, that is just the way I do things. But it is tough and painful.
On my way here I was standing in the immigration queue at the Delhi airport for ages and continued reading a book that I started much earlier this year: The Bait of Satan by John Bevere. It is so easy to get offended and angry, even bitter with circumstances or with people. We fall for the bait and miss the reason for the pain. Just as with running, it is the painful experiences that shape us the most. It is criticism and failure and pain that chips away at our ego and makes us more humble, more like Jesus.
When we get offended we short-circuit that benefit. We become negative, build protective walls around ourselves, isolate ourselves. We isolate ourselves not only against pain but also against joy. This is what lack of forgiveness can do to us. I know. It’s a slow killer. And it slows us down. We cannot make progress. We get stuck. Our sphere of influence starts shrinking. We feel like we are in a rut and we are. Freedom and our personal best is in forgiveness and better yet, to refuse to be offended.
I admit that this is not possible in our own power. We need the power of God, the Holy Spirit in us. He is the mighty energy that flows into us and overflows with forgiveness and love and compassion. So that later in the plane when a little boy kept kicking my chair from behind I smiled and let it go. When Uber did not accept any of my payment methods I got a regular taxi and paid double the price with calm acceptance. From the small irritations like these to the bigger unmentionable painful ones, we have to and can forgive.
I think our attitude about any hardship in life should be based on a few simple facts: God loves me. He has my best interest at heart. I can trust Him.