“Pick up the pace.” (I think you should go faster.)
“Pace yourself.” (I think you need to slow down so you don’t run out of energy.)
“Go your own pace.” (I think you know how fast you should go.)
In one moment or another, all of these admonishments might apply to me. I might initially think about running, but I think many areas of my life could benefit from addressing pace.
Sometimes I’m plodding along without much purpose, sometimes I get enthusiastic and race ahead in danger of burning out or losing focus, and sometimes I doubt myself and look to those around me to tell me what to do.
But none of this advice about pacing really addresses the problem with any success.
I might edit my apparent speed to suit the person speaking, but what would it mean to measure my steps by some other metric than my own sense of self-worth or the approval of people around me?
When unsure about your pace in running I’ve heard the advice to monitor your heart rate. The ideal zone for everyday running is different for everyone, but generally more elevated than a leisurely plod, but also lower than you’d think if measuring by effort alone.
Maybe this metric would be useful when assessing our own approach to achievement or life goals.
What pace should we run at our lives and hope we’ve reached somewhere that feels right by the time we’ve died?
What must we do?
Maybe it’s less about how much or how fast and more about how your heart is.
What is your heartbeat saying about your daily pace?
Does your heart scream for a rest? Is it maxed out? can you pause for a minute or take a jogging break?
Sometimes you’re in the middle of an all out race and you can’t adjust your pace, but what muscles could you relax until you get to the end?
Maybe shake out the tension in your shoulders or neck, try a longer looser stride, or just leave the dishes on the counter and take a nap?
But maybe we’re taking life a little leisurely and a kick in the pants is the jolt we need to add a little healthy challenge to our hearts.
It’s not an all or nothing thing.
It’s not about fast or slow.
It’s not just your comfort zone.
What does your heart say? What does your Jesus say to your heart?
Take it and run your race.
But yes, continue on in faith.
You’ve got this.
And Jesus has got this for you even if you feel weak or weary.
How do you measure your effort in your life? How do you know you’re speeding along to quickly? What does a rut look like for you? What do you do when you feel too tired for the race you’re in at the moment?
I’d love to hear! Comment or message me on Instagram.
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