Friction

Running long distances affects your body many ways.  Aside from the expected effects on your interior, your exterior may suffer great distress, especially if you sweat a lot.  The repeated, relentless rub of a sports bra can chafe, and around mile 25, it feels like you’ve stuffed sand paper down your shirt.  If your thighs touch with every footfall, you’ll end up with nasty, raw stingers, right where you’d expect.  While guys might evade the bra and thigh issues, they have to deal with nipples that chafe – and sometimes bleed – after rubbing against a shirt with every stride.  There are simple solutions to these problems.  Miracle, anti-chafing products that roll on like deodorant are impressively effective, and I hear medical tape and band-aids work wonders for guys’ nipples (although I fortunately don’t have personal experience).

… put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.  1 Thess 5:8

Why is it that we often refuse to hand the wheel to God until we’re wounded or bleeding?  We confidently make numerous decisions on our own and end up in situations where we feel trapped.  When the friction of our circumstances finally forces us to admit we can’t go on alone, we turn to Him to lead us out of our mess.  He gave us free will and patiently allows us to repeatedly go through the exercise of trying to figure it out on our own.  Can you imagine watching that over and over?  If you’re a parent, you can.  Every day is Groundhog’s Day with us humans.  We feel very confident … proud of our comprehensive to-do list … no need for prayer today, as we’re fortified with prayer from yesterday and ready to go, go, go.  It’s times like those, however, when turning to God for direction could allow Him to accomplish magnificent wonders through us.  But, we forget we’re weak without Him and try to do it alone.  We could avoid a lot of messes if we’d just use His miracle anti-chafing products from the get-go.  The rub always comes … it’s the consequence of living in a world wrought with sin.  Three main variables affect friction… speed, shape, and texture, which I learned from my fifth grader last week as she studied for science.  The faster we flitter about – with no time for silence with God, the more puffed up our shape – lacking in humility and acknowledgment of our need for Him, and the bumpier our surface – lacking in faith, hope, and love …. the more resistance or friction we force on God’s will for us … and the more wounded and raw we become.  If that’s what it takes to bring us back to Him, at least we’re going back, and He always takes us back.  But, wouldn’t it be more pleasant and peaceful to consistently ask God what He thinks about where we’re heading with each decision … before we set off?  He will share His guidance, and if we listen, we will be fortified for the impending resistance.

Dear God, please help us protect ourselves with your armor, ready to accomplish Your will and evade resistance.

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