Yes that is from First Thessalonians 5:21. I’ve had quite a lesson in the past two days. While I choose to look at it Biblically I think it applies to all of us here trying to live on this earth.
I learned this lesson from of all things, a worn out pair of running shoes.
You might remember me getting REALLY EXCITED a few months back about my new pair of running shoes. I’ve been running in them ever since being fitted in them and being completely allowed to run again. They are the Saucony Mirage, and they, as well as the Kinvara seem to have a limited run life.
This past week I had 2 difficult runs. One problem I was having towards the end of the runs was simply pain all over. My legs just hurt with each foot strike.
After my last training session my coach saw my shoes and looked alarmed, and said, “Well you are stuck now, you have to run in them for the weekend”.
I had not looked at the shoes and started to think, gee maybe they are a little worn out.
I took them into my shoe store and the fitter there raised her eyebrows after looking at them carefully.
I tend to think it is “average” Based on her analysis of the wear on the shoes I am now officially, “A very obvious forefoot striker, with some drag on my right leg” Its hard to show in the photo, but the shoes are almost a bit concave these days.
Her advice: switch immediately to the new shoes- since they are the same model and such. The new ones look like this!
I think you can tell the difference.
I got the same advice on line. My PT also told me to go ahead with the new shoes. So I decided to go ahead and switch out. I was pretty nervous about this, as one of the cardinal rules of running is
Nothing New for Race Day. This has been drilled into my head since I was about 8 years old. It goes for Shoes, t shirts, jackets, socks, music, and nutrition. Race day is going to give enough problems, with out adding in something new to the mix.
So I struggled with the advice of switching. It came form people I trust. But somehow I still was holding on to the Nothing New philosophy. Despite my mental holding on to that idea, I knew I was having a lot of pain during my runs and the ground was feeling very hard. Slowly, I slipped on the new pair, and took the dog out for a walk in them.
They felt great. Like my old shoes, but better! I was still not totally convinced. I was thinking, “Just run the race in those others and then you can switch”.
This morning I got up and took the dog out for a run in my new shoes. (I was wearing the shoes, not the dog.) Again, much easier on the joints. After the successful short try out run, I was SOLD! I will be in Bright new white Saucony’s at the race start. I’ll look like a crazy newbie as the white is almost flouroescent but…my legs will thank me.
So what was the lesson? Well I started thinking about how often we hold on to things. Beliefs, objects, even resentments. We hold on to and carry around a lot of stuff with us. Most of us hold our beliefs, objects and resentments pretty close to our hearts. We don’t entertain the idea that something that has served us well in the past may not serve us again in the same way under different circumstances.
God wants us to be strong in our beliefs (probably he would prefer we let go of both the objects and resentments.) We should not, however, be automatons. We should constantly be testing our own ideas and beliefs. What was once “true” in our minds may actually be holding us back from something wonderful. God encourages us in Thessalonians to “Test Everything” and to hold on to what is good. The Bible does not say, “Hold on to things that no longer work for you!”
So, as I am learning to run again, I’m learning a lot about my shoes, and God. Admittedly…the rest of my running attire for my race is tried and true (tested if you will) clothing. If I had held on to that stubborn belief of nothing new on race day, I would have been clunking through 13.1 miles and ending up with some very sore joints from the experience.
What are you holding on to today that may be holding you back?