Friday, July 29, 2011

Post-Internship Dinner

I never intended for this to be a food blog, but I only have 10 more days of kitchen access. My family wasn't home when I got home from the internship [the last day- yippee!], so I went ahead and fixed myself a mini-meal.

I started out with about 1/4 cup of whole-wheat flour, and sprinkled in a little bit of baking powder. I then added some Italian herbs, water, and a teensy bit of minced garlic. I don't know the ratio of water to flour, but you're looking for a consistency similar to pancake batter.

Heat up the pan and lightly butter it before you pour in the flatbread batter. After you've flipped it, cover the top with fresh basil leaves.

I raided the fridge for some leftover grilled zucchini, and covered it with Trader Joe's spaghetti sauce and a touch of Parmesan. It was so good that I ended up making a second one :)

Hungry yet?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Run Of Your Life

It was miserable. Absolutely miserable. My head was pounding, my stomach was protesting a run too soon after eating, my eyes stung from my mascara and and the 93 degree heat was pressing in on all sides. Running is definitely not a glamorous endeavor.

Sometimes my runs are delightful. I talk to the Lord, pray for family and friends, or meditate on Scripture. But tonight the pain swamped my brain and I couldn’t even think. On my post-run cool-down, I was struck by the similarities between running and the Christian life. Sometimes sanctification is absolutely delightful. We can soak in the truth of God’s word, intercede boldly before the throne, and revel in the sweet presence of Jesus. There are other times when we are so overwhelmed by sin, the attacks of the Enemy, and the crushing weight of the world that we struggle to breathe, to pray, or to stay on course.

Four years ago, I would have given up on the run. Two years ago, I would have slid into the sloppy habits- hunched shoulders, flailing elbows, and feet kicking like a frog. But tonight all the hard work paid off. I ran tall. I kept my elbows in. My feet did not stray to the right or to the left. When I could not think, my body did what it had been trained to do.

This is why Paul exhorted Timothy, “train yourself for godliness.” When we are overwhelmed, we will default to our training. Are you training yourself in godliness or in worldliness? When you are overwhelmed do you default to despair, anger, and fear, or do you instinctively trust in the Lord’s promises and act on them?

When the run of life seems easy, push yourself to greater godliness. Pursue the fruits of the Spirit. Seek first the Kingdom and its righteousness, and hydrate yourself with the Living Water. Then, when the run becomes difficult, you will be prepared. Train yourself for godliness.

Even in the most difficult trials, there is victory through Christ. This is why Paul proclaimed, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-11)

When the trials come, do not lose heart! Your inner self is being renewed day by day, and the end result is so worth it. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

When I looked at my watch at the end of my run, the pain and misery were suddenly worth it. The hours of practicing good form over the past few years were worth it. Tonight I beat my previous 5-mile time by three and a half minutes.

As incredible as that felt, the result of training in godliness far surpasses the satisfaction of the best run here on earth. Paul told Timothy, “While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (I Timothy 4:8).  

Remember the trials Paul described in 2 Corinthians 4:8-11? Just a few sentences later he encouraged the Corinthian church, saying, “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Prepare yourself for the eternal weight of glory, and fix your eyes on the unseen as you run the race!