Sometimes I run by myself in the pitch dark, early hours of the morning. I can do it because I have a head lamp. It's quite cold and lonely and dark and scary, but I do it because sometimes that's the only way and time allotted to make a much needed run happen, and if I don't run, the day may fall apart before it really gets going.
When I run in the daylight, even if it's just the beginning of daylight, with friends, the run ends up filling so many more purposes than just getting through a run for survival of me and the people I may encounter on that particular day. A run in the sunlight, with friends, gets my blood flowing and makes me feel joy and friendship. The run goes by with such little effort, because the time running in the Light was beautiful and peaceful and fun, not dark and scary and lonely. The benefits of running in the Light last all day. Sometimes, there's so much follow-up conversation and relationship from that brief run with friends in the rising sunlight.
As I was running in the dark by myself yesterday, with only the headlamp light, I was ducking and diving at every little movement and sound. My heart rate was extra high from feeling - on alert - to all that I couldn't see. I got thru it, but it wasn't as effective as it could have been and I didn't really enjoy it much at all. It may have helped me get thru the breakfast routine with a little more grace, but the benefits of running in the dark, with only a head lamp, were pretty minimal and short lived.
I began to think about ministry and specifically our upcoming trip to Uganda. There are many ministries and missions where artificial means are used to light the way; they believe they are doing good and doing what needs done, and they are working so hard and making it happen and getting thru the process. Sometimes, it does work to an extent, but it is minimal and the benefits are short lived. I don't want to go to Uganda or anywhere else to just get through it; I want to experience the joy and power of changed lives with eternal effects. I don't want to just go thru the exercise like I do for a run in the dark with a light strapped to my head, I want to go and run in the Light and enjoy the process.
My prayer for our team is that we only do what the spirit leads us to do and we don't make up anything with artificial means, or with our own power.
My prayer is that we are completely and fully dependent on the Spirit to lead and guide and show us the WAY! My prayer is that we operate in the power available to us thru the Spirit that the Lord Jesus promised to us.
I sure hope we don't have any walls to leap over, but if we do, I know God can get us over it, even in a skirt!