I became a Christian in 2009 after doing the Alpha Course with my husband at our local church. There were a whole series of events which lead us to that church and consequently doing the course, which I’ll write about later. But as I’ve been reflecting on my journey of faith over the past 10 years, it occurs to me that what I know now is vastly different to what I knew then. There were a lot of assumptions and misconceptions that I had. I occurs to me it might be helpful to my friends both in and outside of the church to share my observations. So grab yourself a cuppa, this post is a bit longer than usual.
They are completely my own views, and I’m sure some with have had similar experiences, and others not.
Before becoming a Christian I didn’t know that:
1. I wasn’t a Christian.
I can’t really remember what the catalyst was, but I had an underlying sense that I wasn’t getting any younger, and my fitness would only get worse if I didn’t actively do something about it. So in October I started running. I downloaded Runkeeper app on my phone to get me started and dug out my trainers (which hadn’t really seen the light of day since I had a gym membership in the run up to my wedding).
The app is very helpful. It gives you a summary of your run, where you’ve been, how fast you were, the distance you covered and even your elevation and heart rate. Over time I could see how my speed and stamina was improving. It gives you a little nudge when you haven’t been out for a while, and words of encouragement when you do.
But there was something thing that I hadn’t expected from my new found exercise routine. Faith and freedom. My life is full of routine; each week roughly the same with the daily commute, kids activities, church. But when I run I can go anywhere, wherever my feet take me. The options are endless and no two runs were the same. I love the spontaneity.
We spent Saturday in Kent, skimming stones and paddling our feet in Whitstable Bay with the children and my lovely in-laws. I love the simplicity of the beach. Memories made with endless hours of fun. Sea, sky and pebbles as far as the eye can see. A time to be reflective away from the day-to-day routines and busyness.
Spending time on the coast always puts my life into perspective, and reminds me of the simple things. I find myself re-focusing on my priorities; precious time with my family and my relationship with Jesus. Like the stones on the beach, despite being so small and among so many others, I am comforted and reassured in the knowledge that God knows me intimately.