photo of a stone path going up a hillside and framed by pink flowers
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Falling Off the May Treadmill

Before the Boston Marathon last month, I saw a video of people running on a treadmill at a marathon-winning pace. They would sprint for a minute or so and then trip, fall, and ride the treadmill to a gymnastics mat that was strategically placed to catch them. You can see the video here.

May’s Treadmill

May can be like sprinting on this treadmill. It doesn’t ever feel like you’re making much progress. And yet it also feels like if you let up for just a second, you might lose your footing and fall to the floor.

I’ve been using this treadmill analogy to describe my life as we prepare for our upcoming move amidst the typical end-of-the-school-year track meets, dance performances, school concerts, spring parties, graduations, and weddings. But my life doesn’t need to be a sprint, even when there are a whole lot of things to do. 

I’ve spent the past few months reading and learning about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. I’m struck by the way Jesus articulates a different way to live. It’s a way of openness and a way of blessing. It’s a way that assumes love is the foundation of all reality. A way that assumes there is more than enough, abundantly more. 

Jesus had a lot to do in his short time on this earth. And, as far as we know, he never sprinted anywhere. I want to walk through this life with him and at his pace.

Making my way along this path without sprinting and falling down means paying attention to all the signals that there is too much. It might mean saying no to some social engagements or being “good enough” even when I want an A+. For me, it means sitting quietly every morning with my hands open, willing to receive the day ahead without striving and pushing and contorting myself. It means pausing throughout the day—when I feel my heart rate increasing, my eye twitching with anticipation of all that I need to do—pausing to breathe and slow down and invite God’s peace into my body. 

We are invited not to sprint on the treadmill of productivity but to walk the way of grace and love and abundance.

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