Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9: 24
I have never been a runner…well…except for when I was a little girl in elementary school. Back then, I loved running! There was something about the wind on my face that I couldn’t get enough of. I always tried as hard as I could to win races. However, I was never fast enough to break that ribbon at the finish line.
As an adult, I tried jogging, but I failed. My knees are way too weak for that and I am so out of shape, that after half a lap, I feel as if I’m about to have a heart attack. My thyroid issues have complicated things too, so I have resigned myself to never being able to actually run.
Hence my anxiety every time I read this passage.
I know, I know it doesn’t mean literally “running,” that it is a metaphor (a literary device that implies a direct comparison…I teach literature…I understand) BUT, it stresses me out, nonetheless.
I want to receive the prize!
How can I get it if I don’t run?
I guess I could walk, right? I do enjoy walking a lot! It has become my favorite activity. I had to walk to my son Grant’s school the other day in the middle of a heat wave to pick him up because my car was in the garage and I had forgotten he had to stay for after-school tutoring. The funny thing was that I had to take my 8-year-old, Dylan with me on the “walk.” He did not appreciate it, at all!
The walk was exhausting for me physically, but on top of that, it was mentally exhausting also because I had to cheer up Dylan all the way. He is not much for pushing himself. His reaction when I told him we had to walk to Grant’s school was bursting out in sobs. So as soon as we got on the road, I had to make it seem doable every step of the way. I kept saying things like: “look, once we get to that tree it’ll mean we are half way there.” “Hey, by the time we hit the stop sing, it’ll be only one straight road.” “See that fountain, once we walk by it, we’ll be almost there.”
I have to say that Dylan was a trooper. He only fell once, he didn’t cry for long and he only told me he didn’t love me anymore a couple of times. We were late to pick Grant up, so I had to use the last breath left in my lungs to apologize to the teacher who was waiting with him. Then, we had to turn around and walk back home. But we made it. And I tell you what; there was nothing sweeter to Dylan and I than the sight of our house at the end of the road.
By the time we opened the door back home, Dylan and I had walked for one whole hour. I couldn’t believe it. It only takes like 4 minutes to get there driving! (Dylan pointed that out the next day when we drove by…he said, “WOW, Grant’s school is so close when we are in the car and it took us so long walking!)
At any rate, my body was so tired that day, but the strangest thing was that my spirit felt great! Finishing that walk was a great accomplishment, especially because of the added bonus of having to encourage Dylan along. But I focused on the task ahead, and pressed on toward the goal. (Philippians 3: 13-14) And at the end, I felt like a winner!
I guess I don’t have to be a runner, after all. As long as I keep my eyes on Him who gives me strength, I can do all things, even speed-walking in the heat, dragging…I mean, in the great company of my younger son. That’s one for the books, I tell you. And for that, I am curiously thankful.
Linking with: Essential Thing Devotions
|Here's Dylan, my walking buddy.|