Wednesday, October 13, 2010
What Kind of Runner Are You?
Years ago, while homeschooling four children under the age of eight, I received these wise words from a friend. She looked at me and said, "you are a long distance runner." She went on to expand her observation. She saw herself as a short distance runner. She could do anything for a short distance. She was fast out of the block and could push her abilities to the finish line, as long as the finish line was in view. She was the one who attended all the funerals, weddings and baby deliveries. She was there to bring the meal or assist, for a short period of time. She would not sign up for the constant day in and day out assignments...like having home group at her house each week or homeschooling her children, but she ran her short distance race with grace and success.
She saw me, however, as a long distance runner. I would not be able to see the finish line, and I would have to pace myself. I would have to keep the goal in mind, but not get frustrated on the long, sometimes mundane course ahead of me. At that time in life, my race was raising four children, working in leadership in the church, homeschooling and helping my husband start his own business. I was the one with home group at my house every week.
I am sure she has never thought of our conversation again, as she has run her race so well. I, on the other hand, have rehearsed those words so many times as I see the long distance race before me. They have encouraged me to pace myself and learn the lessons along the path.
These next few weeks, I have a short distance race with my son in a leg cast. I have come out of the gate grateful and with full energy. I have made up songs, carrying him to the bathroom yelling "potty patrol", moved from one thing to another to keep him from being bored, while hearing "momma" more than normal. I see the finish line in front of me, and "norm" will be back again before the holidays.
On the other side of me, I have had some very long distance races. Homeschooling only came to completion with four of my children at the time of graduation from high school. Marriage is also a long run...sometimes the hills can be exhausting and the valleys can stretch your relations, but the union into one comes with a price. Other losses and disappointments can show their head when you don't expect it, showing that healing doesn't always come overnight...another long distance race.
I am still on a long distance run and I still don't see the goal line, but He does. He has given me encouragement for this race in His word. My responsibility is to know that He sees the finish line and He knows the prize that is set before me. Ultimately the prize is Him, but along the way, I know He has other blessings in store. I know He is strengthening my muscles, toning me up and preparing me for the next leg of my journey.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore run, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:
lest that by any means when I have preached to others,
I myself should be a castaway." (1 Corin 9:24-27)
1Therefore, 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. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb. 12:1-3
Blessings on whatever type of race God has you on, either a short or long distance run. May you see what type of runner you are as you race forward. May you have His strength to get to the finish line.