Living a Limitless Life

Oh, I’m not here for blessings

Jesus, You don’t owe me anything

More Than anything that You can do

I just want you

I just want You

Nothing else, nothing else

Nothing else will do

Nothing Else, Song by Cody Carnes

On a recent blue sky Wyoming day, I was out running the reclaimed land of an old coal mine town called Acme, WY. As I ran, this song kept rolling through my heart. Seeing as how nobody else really comes out here to run, I busted out in loud song often as I got my twenty-mile training run in.

More important than the bad singing though was what was going on in my heart.

One of the many reasons I run is because in these quiet hours where it is just me versus me, my mind is renewed and I often feel much better after a long, hard run than I felt before I began.

I began running eight years ago when I was trying to figure out what I was going to be now that my seemingly promising career as a missionary was totally destroyed. Overweight, out of shape and mentally, spiritually and emotionally destroyed, I needed something to get out of my head.

Running has provided that. Over the last eight years I have dropped and kept off over eighty pounds of weight, discovered again what my calling is and why I was created and have found a way to overcome daily the mental, spiritual and emotional destruction that was so much a part of my life.

Which brings me back to this beautiful day of running. As I ran and sang, my heart and mind began to dwell on a very interesting question.

What does nothing else feel like? Not, what is nothing else? Rather, what does it feel like?

I’m a typical male who was told growing up that I wasn’t supposed to feel, I was just supposed to “man up” and “be a man”. In high school I was told by a well-meaning Creative Writing teacher that my writing had too much “feeling” and that as a man that wasn’t how I was supposed to write. Glad I didn’t listen to that teacher any more than I listened to the opinions of any of my other teachers.

When I arrived in my hometown airport as an emotional mess, my pastor and mentor told me one thing that has set me free. He told me, “feel the feelings, seek the truth.” That one line has gotten me through one of the worse times of my life.

Longhorn cattle on a hill outside Acme, WY

What Does Nothing Else Feel Like?

Coming back from that rabbit trail, let’s get back to “what does nothing else feel like?”

As I ran, I began to seek the answer to this question. At first, “nothing else” felt like emptiness, like there was nothing there. But then, as I ran up a twisty, single track segment, right at the top I came out on a wide-open summit and the answer came to me.

As I stood and watched longhorn cattle graze, I realized that this was precisely what nothing else felt like. It feels wide open, like anything is possible, the horizon is a long way off and once I get to the horizon there is going to be so much more to see.

As I stood on the top of this hill, nothing else stretched out in front of me like my hopes and dreams.

Limitless, un-bordered, endless, abundant and lastly exuberant.

In most circles if I were to tell you “nothing else but Jesus”, you would turn me off so quick my head would swim. Nobody wants to be limited to nothing else but Jesus. Mainly that is because religion has broken this whole Jesus following thing. Religion has made Christianity a political party, a judgement against culture and a limiting mechanism in people’s lives.

But that is not what this Jesus following lifestyle is all about. Rather than being limiting, this is the most limitless I have ever felt in my life. Since I view what is coming in my future as a blessing, Jesus doesn’t owe me anything. There’s nothing more that Jesus has to bring to this relationship because He has already brought me everything I could possibly have wanted in life.

Jesus is limitless and following Him is limitless because He healed my marriage, He gave me running to daily heal my emotional, mental and spiritual brokenness and he daily fills me with His spirit of exuberance and acceptance. Because He accepted me in my brokenness, I find it very easy to accept others just as they are regardless of any label society and culture place on them. To me, every person I am privileged to meet is a perfect example of people with limitless possibilities who haven’t reached the capacity of who they were created to be.

Nothing else has shifted from that limiting thought to a limitless, abundant thought of what our futures will look like if we just come into relationship with others with no expectations of what they can do for us but with the expectation that in some way, shape or form, people are brought into our sphere of influence so we can bless them, so we can enrich their lives.

As I came off the wide-open prairie and started back on the mile road back to my car, I turned around one last time at the top of the last hill before starting down to the road. As I gazed out over the roving prairie land and wide openness, all I could do is smile and point at the sky and say one more time, “thank you Jesus for nothing else but you.”

Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.
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Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.

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