I started running last December, an activity I never in my entire life thought I'd be doing. I'm terrible at it. Technically I shouldn't even call myself a runner since my husband could keep up with me by walking fast. But I press on, hoping I become better, thinking time and experience will help, waiting for the sleek runner's body and muscular legs to become mine.
Sadly, it looks like it will be a long wait.
Each day I take off on a "run," I have to psyche myself up for it. I don't necessarily enjoy it. I like being out in nice weather and working up a good sweat, but can't say I take pleasure in the actual activity at all. It's something God nudges me to do, so I do it. He's teaching me about life more than anything, about persevering and doing things that are hard for me to do. I can't tell you how many times He's filled my head in my last half mile with, "Don't you quit, Tami. You got this. You keep going." So I keep doing something I'm not crazy about just to learn the lessons. Maybe some day I'll hear the the theme from Chariots of Fire blaring in my head as I shave a minute off my mile time, but I doubt it will be any time soon.
Maybe this is why a chance encounter made me happy Tuesday morning. I was hard at it, sweating my patootie off having just run up a gradual hill that stretched about a mile long when I came across an older woman walking. She looked so cute in her hot pink shirt and walking shorts, her matching visor, the cord from her ear buds swinging with her arms. I wished I could look as put together as her while exercising. When I sweat hard, my hair gets frizzy and oooh doggy, it's a little scary. Anyway, as I came up to hot-pink-put-together-Grandma I said, "Good morning" through huffs and puffs (I'm telling you this running thing is ugly, people. *shudder*). She smiled wide and in the most cheerful voice you can imagine, said, "Good for you!"
Don't you love it? A perfect stranger pumped me up with a "Good for you!" She made me smile for at least half a mile. I'm awful and slow, but I was doing it. She reminded me to be happy for MY progress, for hanging in there even though I'm not good at it. She recognized my effort.
Isn't that just like God, to take any effort we muster and give us credit for it? Isn't that what draws us to Him, His way of noting what we do, of deeming every endeavor worthy, of knowing how far we've come from? He tells us everything we work at with all our heart matters, even if others don't find it praiseworthy. He sees what we're trying to do and says, "Good for you!"
Later, after I'd finished my run and walked around the block to cool off, guess who I ran into? The same lady! We actually stopped and chatted a little and it brought a warmth to the whole morning, making me glad I forced myself to run that day. I don't know where hot-pink-put-together-Grandma is with God, but her sweet comment sure pushed me in His direction.
And I was thankful.
May He continually remind you of your worth, my friends. May you press on in what is hard, knowing He sees when others do not. May you hear His gentle encouragement.
Good for you!
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