There’s a hill by my house when I start my morning runs that is over a mile long.
The first half-mile’s incline is noticeable. The second half, and even further up the road, is a continued gradual build. When you get to the top of the first half-mile, you give thanks for the hard part being over, but you notice you’re still climbing.
Gradually, you notice there’s still work to do.
The hill reminds me of asking God to help me surrender. Which I do – on a hill or otherwise – but even after what you surrender to Him, there’s still work to be done.
Help me surrender financially. Okay, but I still need to be mindful of my spending habits. Help me in this relationship – okay, but I still have to work at it.
For me, the hills parallel with a book I was gifted on Christmas, The One Minute Pause Journal.
The concept is simple; the follow through, intentional.
Every morning, the book instructs: As I enter a new day, what do I need to let go of what is weighing on my heart? What do I need to give to Jesus?
You are then instructed to Pause, and give it to God. Let it go.
Then, answer: What do I need from God today? Later in the day, there’s another opportunity to give even more: To enter this afternoon or evening with peace, what do I need to let go of? (Do any worries, fears, or regrets come to mind?)
Then: At this point in my afternoon or evening, what do I need from God?
There is scripture, encouragement, reminders to both pause and linger – to truly sit in the moment of what you’re surrendering, what you need, and to simply soak in His presence.
What I’ve needed to let go of: financial concerns, broken relationships, wasted time.
What I need from God: reassurance, comfort, for Him to take, and keep, any worry and anxiety that I’ve got securely tucked inside me.
The book, and the consistent effort, has done wonders for my spirit. For the intentionality of how I let go, and for the peace it brings into my life, for the changes I feel in my head and heart, and for how I’m truly able to be still in the moment.
For the continued hard work I maintain in remaining faithful.
I’m thankful to have an outlet that can parallel this to teach me lessons. We can apply this to any part of our lives, and know that when He pulls us through the hardest part, we do what we need after, whatever that looks like. Let Him give, but don’t stop working after.
Don’t stop obeying Him. Don’t take for granted getting through that first half-mile.
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)
I’ve run the first half-mile hill near my house countless times. I have lived in my home for almost 10 years, so the hill, the challenge, has been there for a while. I continue facing it with tired legs, sleepy eyes, and often a groan and a long, deep breath while convincing myself the run is worth what it provides after the first part of the climb.
This isn’t the Mount Everest I’m making it out to be, but it is enough to provide a small victory every morning I face it – and a deep, quick breath out when I get to the top. Okay, I’ll tell myself, let’s keep going. The best parts are yet to come – the open roads that are some of my favorites in Autauga County.
So I trust. I keep moving. And on the way back home, I’m free on the downhill. The climb was worth it. It always is.