Newness of Life

Two Sundays ago, I skipped church for a run at Crowders. Lately, I've gotten into the habit of getting in a run before church. I like the post-run me: content, happy, cleansed. So much so that when I realized I wouldn't have time to run before church, I still chose to run.

Needless to say, I felt guilty. I was afraid that I was once again placing something else above God. 168 hours a week, I couldn't even consecrate one hour to worship and give thanks? As I dug deeper, however, I realized there was something else. Running gives me satisfaction. I feel fresh afterwards. I am less grumpy. I am content. I am centered. I am better...without relying on God. Going to church afterwards is just icing on the cake. I was relying on myself to save myself.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 ESV)
But that is not the Gospel and that is not what God does in us. God doesn't just make us better; He gives us a NEW life. The Gospel, the Good News, tells us that we can't save ourselves but we have a God that meets us where we are. Even when I am grumpy, scattered, and burdened. Even when we are still sinners.

If you are a little messed up like me, perfect! Let God do something new in us.

2015-02-25 edit:
Along the idea of newness and whole from The High Calling:

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