Out of My Control

It is less than two weeks from my first OCR of the season. I’ve been eating better and pushing myself harder, but smarter. So, the only words to describe my mood this morning when I woke up to sharp pains in my knee are “pure disgust”! Let’s be clear. This isn’t an exercise related injury. I simply slept wrong and in a way that jacked up my knee. Had I hurt myself from overdoing it, I would be disappointed, but I could more easily accept the consequences for my actions. How my body twists and turns while I’m asleep seems largely out of my control, and those are the disappointments that hurt the most!

Whether on race day or in everyday life, admitting some things are out of our control is tough. However, it has also been one of the biggest spurts in my spiritual growth. Instead of freaking out when things don’t go as planned, I ask myself, “Did I do the best I can and everything in my power?” If so, then whining about it is just wasted energy. Aside from what’s in my control, all I can do is trust in God.

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. -Psalm 9:10
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. -Philippians 4:6

If the success of my day relied entirely on my own knowledge, talent, preparation, and ability to control my surroundings, I would never get out of bed. Fortunately, I walk daily leaning on the One who can actually carry my weight while simultaneously influencing the world around me.

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? -Jeremiah 32:27

My fellow brothers and sisters in recovery (AA, CR, and the like) are familiar with the Serenity Prayer. Packed full of wisdom and humility, I believe every Christian and OCR runner could benefit from its principles.

God, grant me the serenity to 
accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference;
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it;
Trusting that you will make all things right
If I surrender to your will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and Supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen.

Serenity Prayer; Reinhold Niebuhr (Celebrate Recovery version)

As for my knee, I’d call it “hurt” rather than “injured”, and I can run hurt! It wouldn’t be the first time. Still, I have over a week to stretch and treat it. After that, it’s out of my control. And I think I’m finally okay with that.


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