“People are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:7-8
I know that I have veered off of the fitness/running blogging this week and before you see the bible verse up there and sigh* “here we go”, hear me out. And this is my first blog post for DECEMBER! Wohooo, happy Winter everyone.
Okay, so this has been weighing heavily on my heart over the past week-more so than normal. Probably because of some of my own personal experiences the last few months combined with a little bit of everything I see going on in the world everyday and observations of people daily.
I have also had the worst writers block trying to force creative energy to flow during a busy/ higher intensity training schedule this week(no excuses I know, I know). But the question that has been prodding itself within my thoughts- Why do we do what we do?
Seems like a pretty obvious question at first glance. A no brainer. But I felt like I should write about this after a few people actually asked me this question multiple times this week. “Why do you do that?”
After completing a few easy miles early before starting work at 8AM, I darted in from the cold to pick up a smoothie. This kind woman and her daughter see me a lot(I have a healthy addiction okay!!) who work there. They couldn’t help but ask the same question I’ve been getting a lot lately-Why?
At first, I didn’t respond but not because I didn’t have an answer or didn’t know why. I know exactly why I do what I do. It’s just hard for me to think that anyone will understand me, even if I tell them.
I knew the lady and her daughter were simply inquisitive about my training and wondering what races or big event I was training so hard every day for. I smiled and just told them that I run competitively and I’m training to stay fit and get faster.
Every day after work I lace up and get ready to head out for my run or lifting if I already did my run in the AM. My co-workers are used to my “insanity” if you will. My boss calls it- “dedication” but that doesn’t stop him from wondering too, Why do you do it?
I sat across from him explaining that if you are not getting better at something, then you’re getting worse. There is no grey area there.
I always ask myself this little checklist of “W’s” everyday:
What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Who am I doing it for?
Colossians 3:17 says- “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Let me preface this: I am fully aware that not everyone follows the teachings of the Bible or shares the same beliefs as me, and I am not writing this for that reason.
But that verse, for me is why. It’s why I get up in the morning some mornings alone, in the dark, at 4:30 and go run 7 miles on a track. It’s why I keep pushing myself to be a better friend, sister, daughter, servant, worker, runner, and a light to everyone I can.
I fully believe that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God who cares more about me than anyone on Earth ever will or can. Even, knowing how imperfect I am and how many times I will mess up- he loves me anyways. And so I do the things I do for him, to glorify him through the gifts he’s blessed me with and to bring love and joy to everyone I meet in any way I am able to.
With that, I’m so so far from perfect! I sometimes do things out of sheer “mindlessness” as I call it. I say hurtful things when I don’t mean to, I ignore things that should be addressed, I run from things that hurt me, and sometimes I fail miserably at being a “light” for others when I am created to be a leader and display kindness and love. Instead I can just be a selfish human.
BUT. Enough about me, now you know why I do what I do. Even if I’m not always good at it. No one is good, really. At least I know why I am the way I am.
So let’s jump back to why we are here(literally)-
Why do you do what you do? I’m not asking you to evaluate yourself and if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, then well you’re screwed! Or to read this and feel crappy because you don’t agree with me. Or even to get mad at me for sharing my faith and displaying the driving force behind my soul.
Everyone has a different journey, and everyone does what they choose for a reason. I am asking you what that reason is.
Why do we hold doors open for people? Why do we help one another when we are struggling? Why do we do good at all if we don’t believe in anything after this?Why do we kill people? Why do we act cruelly to strangers instead of being kind? Why do we keep going back to the same broken relationship that tore us apart? We do we not trust exceptionally loyal people? Why do we let friendships we’ve had for years just fade into nothing like we’ve never met? Why did you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you go to work? What is the point to you?
Why, why, whyy...the list is limitless.
Let me remind you of that checklist-
When you look in the mirror, you see a different you than the rest of us. Only you know your true self. You know why you are doing what you’re doing right now. So..why are you?
What is the driving force that motivates you everyday?
Is it money? Well, obviously you need money to eat, have a house, have nice clothes and live well right?
Is it love? Do you do nice things for people because you love them? Or perhaps you want to be loved back too. Or maybe you do nice things because it’s the right thing to do and you have no other attachment.
If you believe that you’re just here in the world working, paying, eating, sleeping, getting up and “mindlessly” going about things without asking yourself-Why, are you really living or just surviving??
No one has it all figured out, and probably won’t in this life. That‘s okay though! We are all going through something, getting over something, or struggling with something. And I know we won’t always agree on the right what, why, and who.
But I am challenging you to ask yourself those three questions every day. Check in with yourself throughout the day and you will become more aware and focused on whatever you set out to do.
If you have been neglecting these thoughts and just going through the motions, my heart breaks for you. Wake up and ask yourself what you are doing. What are you really doing?
It doesn’t have to be wrapped in a pretty bow or nice and neat around the edges, but please, please know yourself this way. There are too many people in this world that just survive day to day with no aim or direction in their heart.
Imagine if we all adopted this mentality of health for ourselves. How could we better love and offer understanding of one another?
It is so important for us, especially in a time surrounded by such darkness and “mindless” actions and thought that we choose to snap out of it and really dig deep within ourselves by questioning our own self.
Not everyone will always agree with you or understand you. That’s fine too. But you need to understand why you do what you do to truly know yourself.