Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alongside and With

“Yes, I understand that turning back or waiting for others slows you down, but only at first. The deliberate extension of goodness, generosity, and wisdom always wins out in the end.”

Lisa Bevere
“Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World”

She stayed with me.

I told her to run ahead, to get the kind of time I knew she could, but she wouldn't.

"I'll finish," I assured her, "I'll have a stinky time, but I'll finish. You don't have to worry about that."

"Oh I know you'll finish," she said.

And still she ran alongside me, without regard for her own finish.

The race was tough and I hated everything about it except having her next to me with her constant stream of truth. When we reached the finish line, my time was good for me and hers was four minutes more than her last race.

I appreciated her kindness then (and still do), but now I wonder if there may be a lesson in it. How can I "run" alongside others? How can I help them reach the finish line? What do I need to give up or let go of for the sake of another? What truth needs to be whispered in someone's ear to enable them to keep going? How can I learn to be that selfless?

After the race she told me, "I decided before we ever came that I was staying with you. This was your first race. I wanted to experience it with you."

And there's the key to coming alongside. We look at it as an opportunity to experience God's grace with someone, not as a favor to them, but as a privilege. Though it may cost us personally to turn back or wait on or run alongside another, the long term benefit is the chance to see God work. How exciting does that sound?!

Go ahead, my friends, leave your comfort zones, your routines, your busy lives and extend yourself today. Expend some personal time and energy for the sake of others. What grace is waiting to be experienced with someone?

I'm excited to find out.

For more thoughts on this quote, visit Nina at Mama's Little Treasures.

1 comment:

Karen said...

That was a really good illustration. Slowing down for others like that is a tremendous kindness that both parties will remember forever.