Life is uncertain. Despite our best laid plans, our reasonable expectations, our education or socio-economic standing, sometimes what we anticipate next in our life is actually far from it. It is our ability to proceed in spite of the unexpected that proves our faith. Faith, by definition, is a confidence in something or someone. Typically that confidence is held without previous sight or proof. When our belief or confidence is validated by another’s actions, our faith increases in size and expands in depth.
Sometimes, the increase of our faith results in us taking things and people in our life for granted. There are times we even feel entitled as if it is supposed to be that way for us and how dare it not. We expect our car to start when we put the key in the ignition and turn. Our faith that a loved one would be there to encourage us in our hard time turns into an insult when they are occupied with their own issues and not available to us. Even as I run each morning, every step is taken with an expectation that the ground will not give way and my body will not fail me.
One recent run, I forgot to wear my knee strap. It helps stabilize and support my knee. As I went downhill, my knee decided it wasn’t going to yield to my expectations and it buckled. During rehab I had faith that my hard work would take care of all my issues and I could run again. It did. Each run confirmed my recovery and, somewhere along the way, I stopped having faith. I started expecting it to hold up in any condition and at any distance. I, arrogantly, got frustrated when it didn’t. Fortunately, I only stumbled and did not hit the ground. But it was enough to catch my attention.
When we transition from faith to expectation, we lose gratitude and make space for arrogance and pride. It does not matter if we are talking about the steps our feet take in a race, the considerate actions of a spouse, or the blessings of our creator. Every race should be completed with a “Yay!” Every action should strength your desire to show that same love to your spouse. Every blessing should be met with a “Thank you.” Don’t wait until there is a stumble to remind you that it could have been another way. As you strengthen you faith, strengthen your appreciation.
*Week Three: Run 4-5 miles 3x this week. Use another day to cross train and increase strength. One day (probably the weekend) go for a slow long run up to 8 miles. Use 2 days, in between, to rest.