Plenty of Hills this Way too

hilly road
I just finished running almost three miles–something I do regularly through the midst of our neighborhood.  I’ve run for months now and have always jogged left out of our driveway.  Today, to avoid a man who shows a bit too much interest in me when I run by his place, I took a right at the end of the driveway.

My usual strategy is to run uphill and walk downhill which works well when I go left, as the terrain in that direction is quite hilly.  In taking a right, though, I wondered if I’d need a new strategy.  The landscape this way is less vertically challenging, but, for me, I found it plenty hilly.  No cakewalk, this running is.  I have yet to find it light and breezy!

As the realization hit me that even by taking a right out of the driveway that there are plenty of heart pounding challenges awaiting, it made me wonder if life doesn’t echo this thought…I wonder if no matter what “Gosh if I just do this instead, things will be better” thinking runs through my head whether it holds any truth…

The dinger in this is that no matter which direction I head, I take me with.  You know the saying: “Everywhere you go, there you are”?  Well maybe this applies a bit too heavily to my life.  Maybe I create my own hills.  Maybe in trying to make my own way and exerting a bunch of effort into controlling people and things, I do little more than  increase the incline of the hill I’m climbing.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that no one gets a free ride in life.  Everyone encounters hills: challenges, heartache, illness, pain.   But I do think we can magnify their presence or create more of them with our own “stuff”.  We are quite capable of taking a painful stab and turning it into a gaping wound just by how we view it/deal with it.  A wee bit of something can quickly morph into what we believe is “absolutely horrible”.  We lose perspective, we overreact, we obsess, we imagine more than what is.  We cause a crisis where no real crisis exists.  Our heart pounds, our face reddens, we begin to sweat…we find not only a progressively steeper incline, but an ever growing one as well.  We try to conquer what we create…a waste of energy, a waste of time, a waste, a waste, a waste…

How to keep oneself out of the mix is the trick, I think.  How to run the terrain without altering it into something intolerable for oneself and for future runners; how to do life without creating nightmares for ourselves and those around us.  We tend to be our own worst enemies, don’t we?  Many of us are self-destructo kings and queens.  I know I can go there in a heartbeat…

But, back to the original thought: is change in order for things to become better a good thing?  As long as we’re present does external change, does a new direction really keep us from averting hills or keep us from entrenched patterns of erecting personal mountains with each new step? 

No, what I learned today is that no matter which way I go, there are hills.  Life is difficult–we all have hills, some larger than others.  But, as far as the steepening landscape business, I can say that in my own life I’ve found that the only way out  is to relinquish control to Jesus, to ask Him to show me when I’m beginning to overreact, when I’m becoming a drama queen.  Upon awareness, I invite Him into it, smack dab into it and ask Him to take over and show me the way over that hill.  If He is already dictating my running path then asking Him how to maneuver a particular incline is a natural next step.  Sometimes I forget He knows this trek, He has seen it from the genesis of time.  He knows the best way over, the way that will be most glorifying to Him and beneficial for others as well as myself.

I’m gonna keep running, I guess.   Hope I don’t alter the landscape too horribly…with Jesus along, maybe the terrain will begin to bud and bloom, hill or no hill…hope so…pray so.


4 thoughts on “Plenty of Hills this Way too

  1. “…Sometimes I forget He knows this trek, He has seen it from the genesis of time. He knows the best way over, the way that will be most glorifying to Him and beneficial for others as well as myself.”

    I LOVE this! And I find it comforting to remember that if it glorifies Him, then it IS beneficial to me.


  2. yes, you are so right…a great comfort indeed. Now to just keep it uppermost in how I see life.
    Thanks for stopping in…
    BTW: I love your profile pic–that tree is so awesome looking!


  3. Thanks! I chose that picture because it’s beautiful even though it’s imperfect. An important lesson that I’ve only recently learned… (Also because it’s a visual representation of the effects of the wind, which fits the theme of my blog.)


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