Do you only show up for others when you feel like it? God asks us to say yes and put our faith in action even when it isn’t easy to believe.
Explore what happens when you take a step forward in faith … and let your heart catch up.
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A few years ago, I ran the World Vision Global 6K for Water for the very first time. I was so excited about the opportunity to use my love of running to change the world. I was passionate in my belief that I really could be part of something great — that by running I could actually bring relief to the suffering and make an impact. My enthusiasm and excitement made it easy to say yes to running the 6K.
But last year was a different story. Last year I started a new job that demanded more of my time and energy. I was writing more, traveling more, and trying to navigate the working-mom life. So when the Global 6K for Water registration opened, I wasn’t sure I would sign up to run again. I was tired. I was busy. And quite frankly, I didn’t really feel like it.
But I ran anyway. And I’m so glad I did. Choosing to run in spite of life’s circumstances and my emotions reignited vision, purpose, and a commitment to combat the most extreme forms of poverty.
All around the world, millions of people walk long distances — an average of 6 kilometers — every single day to retrieve water. Many times the water they get is contaminated. More than 800 children die each day from something as simple as lacking clean water.
As I thought through whether to sign up for the race, Proverbs 3:27 came to mind: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act” (NIV).
In the middle of my lack of zeal, who was I to deny another mother across the world clean water for herself and her child because I didn’t feel like it? Because I was discouraged. Because I was too busy.
We all love when we feel alive, when we are passionate and excited and believe that we can do something significant.
But when the wind shifts and the terrain of our souls become toilsome, cautious, maybe even cynical or selfish, we have to keep showing up and saying yes. The needs of the world don’t disappear because our excitement to do something about it does. We say yes when we believe that it matters and our souls are on fire, but when the fire dies out and our emotions are tired at best, we need to say yes anyway.
We can celebrate when our feelings align with what is right and good like we celebrate the downhills of a long run. But when the proverbial path to social justice goes against the wind and our own emotions are against us, we must act in spite of our feelings and know that eventually, our hearts will catch up.
I was recently talking to friends of mine with Community Music, worship leaders and songwriters based out of Chicago. We had a candid conversation about faith and belief and living a life of worship to God. They said, “Sometimes we sing because we believe. But sometimes we sing so that we can believe.”
In the same way, there are times when we show up for the oppressed, the marginalized, and the suffering because we believe, because we feel their suffering and want to do something about it. But there are other times when we grow tired or cynical, and we must continue to show up so we can once again believe in hope.
Changing the world requires grit. It’s counterintuitive. We want to feel like it. We want to feel the adrenaline rush of change, of power, of the wind in our sails.
But our action precedes our emotions, not the other way around. One of the things that can hold us back from ever doing anything meaningful is waiting until our feelings line up. In reality, we might need to bravely step out to give, to love, to say yes before we ever feel like it. Perhaps that’s the pathway to our own healing, restored hope, and renewed passion.
And so this year, if you’re excited, on fire, and ready to change the world by lacing up your running shoes … run!
And if you’re feeling jaded, too busy, too tired, or struggling to believe that saying yes to a 6K race matters … run.
So what are you waiting for? Join me at this year’s Global 6K for Water.
Haley Bodine blogs at HaleyBodine.com
Read more from the World Vision blog here.