Astonished

I forgot to post on Friday. Oops. Sorry about that. I was a little (read: a lot) nervous about my first 5k on Saturday morning and everything in my life seemed to revolve around that for one 24-hour period. Stupid, right? I mean, seriously, a 3.1 mile fun run. My nerves would have been a bit more understandable if I was prepping for a marathon or a triathalon or something equally daunting. But no, this was pretty basic stuff, a far-from-competitive jog through the park to raise money for our local 4H club. Why was I so wound up?

The night before the run, I was so jittery I couldn’t sleep. Aaron didn’t know what to do with me… “Come on, Nik, relax. Why are you so nervous about this?”

“I don’t know. But I think I’m going to throw up.”

“I sense some deep, psychological issues here. Want some counseling? Tell me about your childhood…”

“I’ve never been an athlete.”

“I know.”

“I don’t have an athletic bone in my body.”

“Oh, I know.”

“I tried out for every sports team in junior high and high school and was cut from every one.”

“There was good reason for that.”

“I’m clumsy, I have two left feet, I’m not competitive… What if I can’t do this?”

“You already know that you can. You’ve been training. You’ve done it.”

“But…”

But what? Did I think people would laugh? Was I afraid I’d trip over my own two feet and break an ankle? Maybe I feared I’d wimp out at the two mile mark and have to walk to finish… Who knows? I don’t even know. Maybe a counselor (a real counselor, sorry, honey) would have more insight into my troubled mind, but I do think that with this whole thing behind me, I have a bit of a better understanding of the deep-seated fears that gripped me for an entire day before I ran.

Recently, a woman I admire posted the following verse and invited her friends to share something that has astonished them about what God is doing in their lives.

Habakkuk 1:5 (NASB) says:

Look among the nations! Observe!
Be Astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days
you would not believe if you were told.

Be astonished! Wonder! … I am doing something in your days you would not believe if you were told.

Wow. Doesn’t that give you chills? I have goosebumps just reading it. And I am a risk-taker. I wholeheartedly embrace things that sometimes seem pretty audacious. But that doesn’t mean that when I’m leaping off a cliff (literally or metaphorically) that I’m not afraid. Sometimes, that fine edge of fear is what makes the adventure so fun.

I think I let fear get the best of me this weekend. I was astonished by where I found myself, and instead of embracing the excitement of encountering an unexpected place in my personal journey, I almost caved. You know, I shook for the entire first half mile of the race. Like, visibly trembled. Crazy, huh? But praise the Lord, there came a point where peace descended on me. I felt like I stepped outside of myself and was able to watch as I did something that I would have never believed if I’d been told. What a gift that was.

The race is over, and I’m left to wonder: What’s next? The excitement, the adventure, even the fear… It’s all part and parcel of this wonderful, hope-filled, surprising life. What a gift we have been given. Be astonished, my friends.

Your turn: What is astonishing you about what God is doing in your life? And are you afraid or excited about where you find yourself?

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