Oh man was I frustrated today. Like, grind my teeth and say dirty words frustrated. For the past week I have been completely and totally looking forward to a buffalo “hunt” that I was going to get to do tomorrow. Okay, it’s not really a hunt (they’re privately owned animals on a farm), but still I was going to get to harvest an organic, free range buffalo! And I was going to eat it and turn its hide into an awesome rug, then wear it and walk around the house saying “Tatonka.”
And then it all fell apart this morning.
First and most importantly, the one guy I just HAD to have come with me backed out for various reasons. He knows how to take and prepare a large animal, and I don’t have the experience to do it without him. So when he backed out, I was in trouble. Well maybe next Tuesday? Nope, busy already. Thursday? Nope, booked helping the Bible department at ACU. After that? Well, they’ll be sold and gone by then. It started to look hopeless.
I was upset, to say the least.
My catharsis right now is running. I run to clear my head and to think. This morning I skipped my run because Laura and I ran a ridiculously hard half-marathon on Saturday in the White Tanks with 1800+ feet of climbing in the 4 miles in the middle. (then descending the same…ugh) I was so sore this morning that I slept in instead. But I was so frustrated that I decided to go for a run at noon just to clear my mind.
I ran like the wind. I felt slow, but my last mile was one of the fastest miles I have ran this year! I just ran my body hard and ran the emotions dry, then asked God to show me His view of the situation. I shut my mind off and focused on my breathing and on putting one foot in front of the other at a hard pace.
Afterward, I had a new perspective. I had asked God for some clarity, and while He hadn’t told me why it had fallen apart, He reminded me that He isn’t angry with me and that He knew what was best. Who knows, maybe the whole thing would have been a disaster for me. Maybe I would hurt myself, or we will need the money we would have spent to do something else. Maybe I will get drawn for elk this year and will need the freezer space! (oh please, Lord, let this be it!)
At the very least, I wasn’t so angry anymore. I was still not excited about it, but at least I was at peace instead of raging at the injustice of it all or upset at my friend who canceled.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ” (Romans 12:2, NAS)
I thought of this verse this afternoon as I considered the attitude shift. I hadn’t had a spiritual mountaintop, just a hard run on sore legs. I hadn’t sat and prayed my heart out, just asked God for some clarity as I hit the “start” button on my run tracking program on my phone. I hadn’t meditated on Scripture much either. And yet despite that, God took the request I made and used my run to change my heart toward the situation. And for that, I am really grateful.
What does God use in your life to change your perspective? Is it a nap, or music, or a loved one? Is it counsel or video games or a good book? Is it prayer or Scripture reading or exercise? When you’re upset with the world, how do you let God work the emotions out of you and give you a new perspective on the situation?