I've been running for you a long time and I won't turn back.
There's this chic named Damita who sings these lyrics in a song I like. Catchy tune...look it up. It will get your rear end up a hill if you are a runner.
I always wanted to be a runner. People who run seem so determined. They are disciplined. They persevere. They have cute running clothes and nice shoes. They are thin. I like all those things. I just couldn't muster up the stamina to do it until a few years ago.
Always been a walker I have. You know that kind of walker...the kind that my kids are embarrassed of and my husband is annoyed with because he wonders where we are going in such a hurry.
So picture it, Sicily, 1922...don't you just love Golden Girls? Ok really, Cub Stadium, 2010. There I am walking laps around that sucker and all of a sudden I feel the urge to start running. Crazy. So I did and I still am.
How about that?
I realize that running was a gift that God had for me but He was holding onto it for a time that He knew I would need it. It's amazing the things He shows me when I run. The parallels he draws in my life. Jesus and I have been working through this perseverance thing. It is not the most fun I have ever had in my life, but necessary. There have been a lot of fits and crying and whining.
Part of the lesson of persevering is finishing strong. I wish I could tell you I run 5 miles every day. But that would be a load of bull. I run 2 miles...3 if I am feeling frisky. Then, normally I walk a mile to cool down. There are times that I am tempted to skip that cool down mile. I may be in a hurry, ready to get on with my day. Or I maybe just don't feel like it. But I know better. If I don't do that last mile, I get sicker than a dog. Slammin' headache, want to puke, wheezing like an asthmatic...you get it. Funny how that last mile is really important for me.
I just came out of a season where I felt like I was running uphill on a snowy day both ways with wind and a lion chasing me. I made it. It was hard, but I made myself keep on and then there was, and continues to be, victory. When I made it through that wretched run, I was ready to call it good. I made it and now it was time for me to move on. But God told me ,"No ma'am...you will finish strong. If you quit now, you will miss the best part."
You see, when I run, I am focused on MYSELF. I normally have my earbuds in and have my head down...concentrating on breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. So the great thing about that last mile is I take my earbuds out and can focus on OTHER PEOPLE. My head is up. I make eye contact with other runners/walkers. I look around at the beauty that God made for me. I have time to think. Sometimes I see a friend and we talk or I offer an encouraging word to someone who looks like they need it.
There is a good chance that my cool down lap may last longer than my run. That would be amazing and a total picture of God's grace.
Good chance there is a race of another kind ahead. Bummer. But I know what to do.
Finish strong friends.
Oh...and just so you are not deceived...this morning I wore 10 year old running pants that I paid 97 cents for at Ross and a bleach-stained tshirt. No cute running clothes for this girl. Yet. ;)