Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lace Up!

My quiet morning had been interrupted with the "gentle" sounds of both of my daughters screaming at one another. Though I had heard them bickering in their room, I had hoped to remain on the outside of their sibling rivalry. From the sounds of things, however, the situation had escalated. The girls were now in all out war. Furious with one another, they both ran into my bedroom where I was stretching and began to talk over one another.

Unable to catch all the details, I was able to decipher something about a perceived injustice involving a coveted Barbie doll. (Did I mention they were fighting over ONE doll and they have about fifty? But I digress.) Annoyed by their commotion, I quieted the girls and I patiently listened as each of them stated their case. As time passed and the outside temperature rose quickly, I laid down my sentence and grudgingly laced up my running shoes.

When I finally stepped outside, the Texas sun greeted me fiercely. "Ugh," I thought to myself as dread began to fill my head with excuses for sitting this one out. I had hoped to get my run in before the heat settled in. To steal a line from Scooby Doo, "I would have pulled it off too, if it hadn't been for those darn kids". This was not my plan but I had made a commitment. It was now or never.

So, I gulped some water, took a deep breath, and proceeded slowly down my usual route. My "can do" attitude quickly wained as the heat drained my mind and body of all enthusiasm. Still, I pressed on determined to "run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV)

We all have a race to run. And many of our best laid plans do not unfold as we hoped or planned. In marriage. In relationships. In work and finances. Life turns up the heat. Despite our discomfort, we are called to honor our commitments and press on.

Life doesn't wait. Lace up!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Further

"I think it's time you went a little further," my sweet husband Marty said to me as I laced up for my evening run. Looking at him with a "let's not get too crazy" expression on my face, I was not exactly on board with his big idea. Still, I decided that perhaps there was some merit in the words "no pain, no gain." My runs had been getting easier. Maybe it was time to step things up a notch.

I set out with my expectations low. Truly, I didn't expect to be able to run all that much further. After all, I have only been running a few weeks. Surely, my endurance was not that much stronger. The road stretched out before me and my pace remained strong. Before long, a new attitude filled my heart. As my feet steadily pounded the pavement, I found new energy. I was not tired. I did not grow weary. I had run furthur than I imagined I could. And I was invigorated! Just then, I was reminded of one of God's great promises:

"But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
(Isaiah 40:31 NIV)

Before long, my run was over. With the sun setting quickly, I returned back to my driveway and shared my triumph with Marty. Renewed and encouraged, I wondered just how far my legs might have taken me if I had more time to run that night. Every part of me felt alive and ready for more! Marty was right all along. I WAS ready to go a little further.

That's how it is with God. When we think we can't go on, His love fills us with hope and offers renewal. It's true with running. It's true with life. Sometimes we just have to go a little further to experience His great work in our lives.