Here’s the excerpt out of “A Beautiful Offering” by Angela Thomas. She’s going through the Beatitudes, and this is in the chapter of “Blessed are the Pure in Heart.”
“I have always wanted to be a distance runner. Three miles without heavy breathing would be long distance for me. I had tried in the past, but the intense pain underneath my ribs would always sideline me in a matter of minutes. I used to joke that I don’t run because I want to be sick when I die. But that was a joke and I still really wanted to run. All my friends run, and it seems like the perfect exercise for a woman who can’t find an hour to get to the gym.
So, it finally dawned on me that I probably won’t wake up one day and be a runner. Nothing will happen unless I actually get out there and do whatever it takes to become one. About a month ago, I started trying. I wish I could tell you that it happened in a matter of weeks. But I am forty, and becoming a runner is going to take a little more time. I walk fast to warm up, run until that side thing is unbearable, walk it out, and then run a little more. I feel like such a pansy. But if I give up again, I will still never become a runner. I want to run. I have dreamed that I am a runner all my life. I could quit, but something inside me doesn’t want to this time.
The path of my offering is very similar. I want to bless God with my life. I could dream about what God could do with a woman who was devoted to Him. I could talk about being pure in heart. I could intensely desire a righteous life. But until I get my shoes on and try, I will never know the great blessing of running alongside God.
Getting your shoes on to try means getting on your knees when you’d rather just run out the door. It means being accountable when it’s embarrassing. It means telling the truth to others and to God even when it makes you uncomfortable.
Sometimes I will have to press through my fears and respond to God and people with a humbling vulnerability. Running alongside God means that I am learning to confess immediately and cut out the days of waiting for restoration and forgiveness. It means that I try to push through my hesitancy and do the right thing before God. It means that I make an effort to keep asking God to make me pure.
There are so many ways I could spiritually run faster, and I don’t want to get older without trying. I don’t want to just dream about being godly. I want to keep moving in the direction of God, running toward maturity instead of away from it.”