This woman deserves BOTH our medals and a thousand dollars for talking sense and speaking truth to me the last half of the race. (More on that later.)
It all started on a cool, cloudy morning. And we're off . . .
I've run three miles (and more) lots of times, but I guess the pressure of finishing respectably among a bunch of strangers got to me. About halfway through the race, my emotions tanked. I was doing my best, giving my all, but found myself at the back of the pack. As I watched people ahead of me stopping to walk a bit then run, walk, then run and still be ahead of me though I was running the whole time, discouragement set in.
"I totally suck at this," I told my running friend.
"What are you talking about? You're doing it!" she replied.
"I hate this. I really hate this. Why did we think this was good idea?"
"You've got this. You can do it."
"I'll do it. I'm not going to quit, but I'm SO BAD at it."
"Stop that right now. Do you know how many people never even try this?"
"What kind of stupid person does something they're terrible at?"
"It takes a lot more courage to do things you're bad at than those that come easy to you."
I knew she was right, but my stomach knotted and emotion welled up inside, causing me to fight back tears the entire last mile. My friend kept speaking truth and I tried to believe it. Six months ago I couldn't run half a mile straight and here I was running a 5K, over THREE miles, but all I could see was the hoards of people ahead of me. Soon God started screaming at me.
GET YOUR EYES OFF OTHER PEOPLE! RUN YOUR OWN RACE!
My problem was not my slow, old lady legs, but my wandering eyes. My frustration came from comparing myself and coming up short.
"You are totally robbing yourself of the joy of this moment," my friend chided, "You're doing something you've never done before. Now stop it. You're going to cross that finish line and be happy about what you've accomplished!"
I tried, but sadly I couldn't muster up any pride in myself. Kevin said he could tell I was mad as I crossed the finish line. What do you think?
Though the race was tough, I was glad to have run it with these great friends. They were the best part of the day. Here we are AFTER it was all done. We don't look too worse for wear.
And you'll never believe it (I'm still doubting it myself), but I won my age division! I HAD to have been the only person in the 40-49 group.
I think God is trying to tell me something through this running
I want you to do something that's hard for you.
I'm not sure why He's asking this of me, but I'll stay at it. I'll persevere and give my best, even if my best is last. If it will make me a better person, the pain (and humiliation) is worth it, right?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I will run the race marked out for me and I pray He makes something good of it.