When I was a child I loved to run down hills. The thrill I got while hurtling at breakneck speed was a joy. And because I was going downhill, I could run faster than I could any other way, because I was basically just trying not to fall while gravity did the work for me.
As I’ve gotten older, I think of those moments when I hear Mosiah 4:27 where the Lord tells us not to run faster than we have strength.
I remember teetering on the edge of disaster on those hills as my legs pumped to keep me upright. And I was always amazed at the bottom of each hill that I’d made it without face planting on my way down.
Maybe it’s my child like heart that sees that same image when the Lord is counseling us. I don’t see daily activities as running. But that is exactly what He is referring to. He is advising us to slow down, and not do more than is wise. It’s a tough pill to swallow for me, because I like to be ever moving and doing.
Words of Wisdom on running
Recently I found out I have chronic Epstein Barr. It’s the virus that causes Mono, but it hid in my body since college and surprised me when my immune system was down. It makes you very tired. I mean so tired that you have X amount of energy for the day, but if you use it all by noon you are literally laying in bed the rest of the day. I hate it!
I’m sure I’ll recover in time, but this experience has really brought home the message in Mosiah 4:27
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
Saturday morning during conference one of the speakers said that time is a critical component of progression. I saw in my mind’s eye that plants take time to grow, and so do souls. And I was struck by how often lately I have expected results before allowing the time for things to develop. I have been wanting the wisdom that only comes with age and experience before I had either one.
The meaning of ‘running faster than you have strength’ changes depending on your season of life. For children, they have all the energy in the world but no experience to be able to use that energy for much more than learning and growing. As an adult you have less energy, but more experience and a wider influence.
And running faster than you have strength can look like children in too many activities, and volunteering for too many extras. Your responsibilities are greater, and your plate is fuller, so there is less time to go and do what you want to.
Finally, as a seasoned adult your plate is a little lighter as your children are grown, but your energy levels are that much less. And even though you have the experience to do great things, sometimes your body can’t keep up. Being patient with yourself in each stage of life is what God means about not running faster than you have strength.
God gets it
I think God understands. When He told us about running, He was giving us permission to allow our bodies time to heal when we are tired, hurt, or sick; both physically and emotionally. He is reminding us that life is not just about learning, but that it’s about time too.
Time is essential for some lessons. And its human nature to look for answers now, and not necessarily remember that they may only manifest with that extra ingredient of time. I think that is what the Lord means when He reminds us that His time is not our time. He knows how things will develop; we are along for the ride.
Stop Running so fast
In this pandemic, waiting for time to pass is not only a difficult thing, but it’s annoying. Being home for weeks at a time can drive you mad. But we must remember there are going to be blessings from this experience. And as we follow the Lord’s council to run only as we have strength; we will start to see the blessings that come with patience and time.
And as we stop running faster than we have strength, we will see the blessings around us more easily. We will feel more balanced in our responsibilities. And we will have the time to spend with the Lord that will bring us all closer to Him. Because it’s when we are not running too fast that we have the time and presence of mind to hear the Lord and what He wants us to do.
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. Having completed training to be an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for ABA therapy she is beginning to understand her son. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that the challenges can be overcome, and there are blessings in autism. You or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.