H”I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding” Psalm 119:32 NIV
if there’s a one word description of my daily/weekly life, it’s running. Now before you get the wrong impression, let me make clear I am NOT a “runner”. I don’t lace up running shoes and head out with my headphones and bouncy ponytail – I see those women all over town and admire/envy them – they’re adorable. I’m talking about running around. Racing from one thought to the next, multi -tasking at light speed between multiple coinciding responsibilities, and our car keeping these winter roads hot between therapy appointments, story time, group activities, meetings, etc. Most moms I know are this kind of runner. Special needs moms just replace the usual running to soccer practice or ballet with doctors, therapies, medications, behavior crisis, etc.
I came across Psalm 119:32 which says “I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding” and it compelled me to ask myself two questions: first, am I running straight ahead down a path that is clearly delineated by God’s commands? And second, is my running a direct result of divinely-broadened understanding? I would like to say “most of the time” for question 1, but question 2 really got me. The Bible says the God is willing and able to broaden my understanding. Interestingly many Bible translations use “enlarge my heart” in lieu of “broaden my understanding” – sounds like there is a heart issue along the way of me getting off the hamster wheel running around, and getting onto the straight forward path of Gods commands for me.
Here’s my take-away: First, broadened understanding is not equivalent with knowing more information. It is equivalent with a divinely-enlarged heart, enlarged with a greater capacity of grace, joy, contentment and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And a heart that has been enlarged enables me to have a broader understanding of what’s happening. I think I often do the opposite in a situation that I don’t understand, I narrow, or protect, or close-off my heart. But study of this verse shows that opening up my heart for more of God’s revelation is the broadened understanding I need for this race.
Second, I can run down a specific path that God has prepared for me, rather than just running around. He has placed signposts for me to race toward a specific goal. You know how the new thing is “be present”? Encouraging memes telling us to be present are all over social media, and I’ve seen them as phone wallpapers or in the doctors office reception area. I get the importance of being in the moment with those around you – stop being distracted with thoughts or cell phones or whatever. However, I feel like this verse tells me to not be so present in the now, that I’m not aware of the bigger picture. The path that I’m on and the direction that I am heading are not to be compromised because of a momentary issue. Don’t be so focused on running around, look instead at the path of His commands.
Yes, I still have two therapy appointments, an airport pick-up, grocery store, the gym, cooking dinner and MUCH MORE on my list today – but I won’t be so frantically focused on those that I narrow my understanding and veer off the path. My challenge to you today is, while zooming through your endless to-do list, mediate on the broader understanding of your day, your week, and your life in His hands. Be satisfied that you are running down the right path that He has set before you.
p.s. If you’ve never done this before, please send me a message and I can help you get started down the path with God, so that you too can broaden your understanding, find your lane and run your race!