A dear friend had given me a copy of Miracle in the Middle years ago when I was torn between two options: run or remain. It was an incredibly timely book and a great read, but I never finished it for some reason. I enjoyed it and thought about picking it back up and finishing it multiple times, but I never did.
I remembered liking the book and knowing that it encouraged me during a tough time, so I thought to include it in this series this year. Because it had been so long, I had planned to start the book again from the beginning, but before I did, read the sentence that I had left off on:
“In every middle moment, be careful of the motivation behind your movements. Are you running away from where God wants and needs you to stay?” p. 154
And right below that, I had scribbled “check yourself”.
When I wrote that, I had no idea that I would be in a similar position just a few years later. I have been wanting to run and run fast. As I’ve written before, I’m a good runner and, if I can’t run away physically, you better believe I’ll run away mentally and emotionally. It’s a jacked up coping mechanism and something that I’m actively trying to unlearn, so I’m grateful for little reminders such as this one.
Charlotte discusses the conflict of run or remain within a story of a communal changing area at her gym. She wanted to run from it, not wanting to be that exposed in front of people she knew and some of whom she pastored—talk about an awkward moment!
Moments of change are awkward and exposing, and I don’t like those. Instead of remaining, I usually opt to run because that’s more comfortable. If I run, I don’t have to change. I don’t have to own my mistakes. I don’t have to take responsibility for my short-comings. I don’t have to be vulnerable and humble. Running keeps me from dealing with pain, fatigue, bitterness, and a whole host of other things that are absolutely uncomfortable. And yet, running isn’t always the right answer; sometimes you need to remain.
Like in Charlotte’s example, if she wanted to get healthier and stronger, she had to change. She could choose to run and go home, but then she would stay the same. And then she realized something: she wasn’t alone. Everyone else in the communal changing area was also changing, everyone was just at different phases in the process.
And that’s a beautiful part of the body of Christ: we’re all in this together.
We are each in different parts of the process and everyone is working through different things. And that’s a good thing. You might be really good at remaining and can help encourage a runner that this is a safe space. Or you might struggle to express your emotions and need the encouragement of a feeler to open up. Maybe you’re one who will serve to find their place with God and with people who just needs someone to say “I accept you, regardless of what you can do for me.”
No matter where we are in the changing process, I’m grateful that we’re in it together. We’re all part of the same body, connected together through our shared faith, to encourage each other as we journey through this difficult thing called life. And I’m honored to do this thing right alongside you. Thank you for being you, being here, and being present.
Have you read Miracle in the Middle?
Do you have a tendency to want to run? Why do you think that is?
Don’t forget! Pick up your copy of A Proverb A Day today!
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