“Running Just to Catch Myself” was a song I heard in high school about the craziness of a fast-paced corporate life – speeding on the way to work, spilling coffee on white dress clothes, waiting impatiently for 5:00 to roll round, dreaming about next summer’s vacation, and getting up every Monday to do everything all over again. At the end, the songwriter says, When I meet God, I will have a question…I just forgot the question. I think I am running just to catch myself.
Sometimes, especially lately, this is how I have felt. When I moved back to Kansas City in June to try my hand at freelance writing, quite frankly I thought I might be a little crazy. I’m a 23-year-old with a college degree – I should be out looking for a real job, not dreaming about being self-employed, starting a blog, and finishing my novel.
And then I got two “real” jobs within the span of a one September week – one as a personal historian and one as a marketing copywriter. Since then, I’ve been conducting interviews, writing family stories, sorting through social media posts, editing and rewriting web pages, writing my blog posts in the time in between, and trying my best not to look like a chicken running around with its head cut off.
Because I like organization and tidy schedules – I was the kid who lined up the books on her bookshelf from shortest to tallest – and because freelance schedules never line up very tidily, I’ve had days when I crawl into bed and think, “Wow, I didn’t finish any of the things I needed to do today” – even though I just did two interviews, sent half a dozen emails, finished my laundry, and went to my small group from my church.
And then I realize that I haven’t thought about God or prayed more than a quick “arrow prayer” or two since I left home that morning. It’s no wonder I feel far away from him when I don’t take time to breathe, let alone be still and listen to him.
Recently, I was driving somewhere and feeling discouraged about this when a different song came on the radio. Whatever you’re doing inside of me – it feels like chaos, but somehow there’s peace. It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see, but I’m giving in to something heavenly.
It was another song I used to listen to in high school – one whose words meant a lot to a 17-year-old trying to figure out what in the world God wanted her to do in life. It meant something different now.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in my life tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll finish my to-do list, or if an emergency will come up, or if I’ll run just to catch myself all day long. I don’t even know whether all the things I’m doing are the things God wants me to do right now. But I do know God will work in and through it because that’s what he does. He takes chaotic messes and turns them into something beautiful, something downright heavenly.
So today, in the craziness and in the chaos, I’m surrendering to whatever he would choose to do inside of me.
What is your best advice for someone who is running just to catch himself/herself? Have you ever learned any lessons through chaos?