The decommissioned rail line that I run on regularly has blessed me with the opportunity to encounter deer, elk, owls, eagles, snakes, migrating frogs, and a countless number of other critters. By far the most prevalent are rabbits. They’re everywhere. They’re sneaky little things, they let you get pretty close before bouncing off into the brush. My running buddy was laughing at himself one day because he realized the rabbits were doing it on purpose, letting him get close before hopping away, they do it, he says, to allow you tire yourself out maximally and thus increase their odds of escape. Chasing rabbits looks do-able but it’s an illusion.
I often think I am chasing rabbits in my christian walk. I want to be more spiritual, read the bible more, maybe even memorize bits of it, pray more often, always have sage advice for those looking for it (and maybe, just maybe, sometimes for those not looking for it). I want my marriage to be exemplary and I want to treat my body as a temple and I want to raise healthy God loving children with hearts of mercy and compassion. I know I am not going to earn anything (like salvation) through these efforts, but I also know that there are these things in life known as the fruits of the Spirit and I want to demonstrate them in my life.
The problem with “more” is that it is an ever-moving horizon. We never arrive. We can always see another runner going faster, looking calmer, like they aren’t even trying as they destroy the value of whatever it is we have accomplished. None of us can catch “more” we can only chase it. Yet, I must admit, I love a good chase:)
The question of how to live in our faith journey, I believe, is about chasing the right things, the things God means for us to chase, and they are different for all of us. I like to think that we can all proclaim, “As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord” and at the same time be open to the reality that this will take different formats in different lives. If you are chasing a rabbit and it is pure drudgery it is the wrong rabbit to chase, remember you will never actually catch the rabbit so you better enjoy the chase!
As this summer fades and a new school year, church year, arrives, take a moment to pause and reflect on the rabbits you are chasing. It can make all the difference.
As for my buddy and I, we will run a local fall marathon so slowly even our wives won’t be impressed, but our bodies are temples and we know joy in the sweating as we chase the rabbits.