Posted on October 29, 2013
“Well Shakirah, I don’t want to hold you up.”
It was Jada’s first run with me. A former athlete, she mustered up the courage to get back in shape by running. I could sense she was worried her inexperience would effect my pacing. But, I wasn’t concerned about my time or how many miles I would track. This was about providing Jada with the support she needed to meet her personal goal.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll match my running to yours.” I said, assuring her everything would be okay.
“You sure?” She asked.
We set out on our run with brisk movements. The cool autumn air hit our faces as we made our way through downtown, passing 9-to-5ers. Our feet hit the pavement creating a cadence: one step; two steps; moving right, then left. I could hear Jada inhale and exhale as her body found it’s natural rhythm. Out of the peripheral of my eye I watched her form and was careful to mimic her movement. “You’re doing good, Jada.” I’d say, making sure to provide her with the necessary encouragement she needed to keep going. Every so often I switched my pacing in hopes she would catch on.
Before long we were moving lock-and-step. Our breathing matched. Our pacing was in sync. We were running in tandem. I could see Jada’s confidence growing with each passing mile. As we continued passing historical buildings and monuments, giving each other support, I thought about God’s words to Adam.
“It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)
Part of being made in God’s image means being wildly relational. This is modeled through the relationship of the Holy Trinity; God, Spirit and Son. Throughout the Bible, we find that God never acts apart from His relationship with the Holy Spirit (the power of God). As such, He doesn’t expect us to go through life in solitude. After all, no one man is an island. We are first given an invitation to experience intimacy with God through the facilitation of His spirit, which lives in us. This supreme relationship has ingrained in us a desire to engage interdependently.
God is so good that He doesn’t stop at relationship with Him. Adam walked in perfect harmony with God. Yet, in an act of love the Lord created Eve so that she and Adam could be a tangible expression of God’s heart towards His children. Our vertical interdependence is now manifested horizontally. We are blessed with family members, friends, significant others and spouses, children and colleagues to see God’s love personified. The people in your life are not there by coincidence.
Life is sweet when we know Jesus, but it’s even sweeter when we get to be Jesus to those God has elected us to walk with.
Life is good when we find ourselves as victors over our trials, but it’s even better when we look back and share memories of overcoming with the people closest to us.
The truth is our wandering hearts were never created to do life alone. None of us were born to exist in a vacuum. We’re all running towards the same thing. We’re all longing for the same fulfillment of the insatiable yearning that only God can quench.
And yes, perhaps we could get there in our own efforts. But, we go so much farther when we do it together.
Now it’s your turn: Who are the people in your life who have been instrumental in walking with you through your good and bad seasons? How did having them there help?
Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.