I first started running when we lived in the French Alpes. I had crashed my mountain bike, doing several summersaults on/off it, and had to carry my bike back out to find the trail. Apparently, I had popped my shoulder out of joint and then back in as I fell – and I was told to not ride my bike for 8 weeks. So I started running, which up to that point I thought was dumb, and pointless “it’s like walking…only faster?”
As soon as I started I had knee pain. My doctor (who was a sports medicine doc) suggested some knee braces. They helped very little. Sometimes I could barely climb the stairs after running just 5km. I was born with strange cave-in ankles, so for a large part of my life I’ve had special insoles in my shoes to give extra support which I put in some good solid trail running shoes. So even with the orthotic insoles and the doctor-prescribed knee braces it still hurt. Every. Time. To say I was discontented would be an understatement.
I was starting to think that I just couldn’t run- that my body was not built for it. Then I did a bit of reading, and some research, and came to the conclusion that I would try the complete opposite approach. I bought the flattest/thinnest shoes I could get and ditched the insoles, and within days got rid of the knee braces..
My knee pain disappeared. (and I never stopped running, even after my shoulder healed!)
Contentment will remain elusive if we are crippled by things we think are helping us.
My belief that the braces and inserts were helping me – was holding me back and actually causing me pain. What I thought was helping – was actually hurting.
Sometimes the things we think we need are causing problems. The things we think are supportive are actually holding us back, or worse.
What things have you inherited from your upbringing, what habits do you keep from your past, what beliefs are you keeping without reflection?
It’s pretty easy for those of us who were raised in the church to keep things we think help (a certain pastor/leader’s perspective, a style of worship service, an approach to prayer etc etc) but we’ve never really critically reflected on it.
Read books that don’t agree with your perspective. Listen to podcasts/sermons from other backgrounds.
The Body of Christ is immeasurably rich in diversity – step out of your comfort zone. Dare to see if some of the things you believed were helping you understand the Gospel, get closer to God, know Jesus better – actually are.
God of all-sufficiency,
you are all we need,
help us to strip away things that hinder.
Show us what we think is bringing us to you,
but is actually standing in the way.
You are always available, fully present,
Help us return to you,
by the guidance of your Spirit,
and the truth of your Word.