After I wrote about my six-mile run and how proud I was that I could finish that race with an amazing time, I began thinking about a half-marathon. I was technically halfway through the training and on pace for training for the one that would be held in Springfield in mid-October.
Pardon me. It seemed like a no-brainer. So I jumped right back into distance training the weekend after the Abe’s Amble.
I ran four miles from my house, so that when I turned, I would run the required eight miles for that Sunday. Except right around the turning point, I had pain so severe it was accompanied by pain. Radiating pain from my deep glutes to the bottom of my foot.
I walked and ran real slow the second half, the pain never alleviated. It was slow because I was proud of my time, though in reality it wasn’t THAT slow. It was slow because God had some things to say. It was slow because I was suffering emotionally as much as I was physically.
I’m 43. I’ve suffered a few rather severe health conditions. I’ve birthed three children. I’ve reclaimed my health. I’ve lost significant weight. I’ve become stronger. I’ve experienced new, chronic back problems.
I was arguing with God that I might miss the chance to run a half marathon in my lifetime if I didn’t do it now.
He, as you might imagine, didn’t care. Well, that’s not true. He did and does care very much about my feelings, my aspirations, my past and my future.
But in that agonizing four miles, He reminded me that His care for me includes seasons of slow, of rest and of healing. And that if I can’t lay down my prideful thinking, my own goal-setting and pick up what He has for me, then I may very well miss out on something even better than a half-marathon.
I don’t know what that is. He hasn’t revealed it to me yet. But I’m learning in my relationship with Him that it’s best to surrender. He is indeed my GOOD FATHER. And if He is saying this season is not my time, then I trust Him. Even if I don’t like it.
And that’s hard. It very much reminds me of the verse I’ve been meditating on in my Holy Yoga Trauma-Sensitive studies this week, the one I shared with one of my Holy Yoga classes: “I have told you these things so that you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power [to overcome] the world.” John 16:33
The most important thing in this scripture is the relationship. When life is hard, when I don’t get my way, when my body doesn’t cooperate, when I’m going astray, when I’m leaning toward something to make into my god, when I am stubborn and prideful, I still haven’t lost hope. My peace is in HIM. My hope is in HIM. Without that relationship, I have nothing.
I’m also reminded that if Jesus has power to overcome the world, than with Him by my side, a half-marathon is NEVER out of the realm of possibility. This fall, this year…it’s not my season. And that’s OK, too.
I haven’t stopped running. I haven’t stopped tracking my time. I run more slowly. That in itself makes me smile. I notice more. I hear Him more. I feel His presence. Because I’ve set aside the “it’s all about me” attitude. I’m not running for me. I’m running for HIM and with HIM. Guess what? I enjoy it more than ever.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m no theologian. But for me, God’s word does hold ultimate truth and smaller truth that is more personal, more driven by the Holy Sprit. For me, it’s something that pertains to a season in my life that has little to do with the historical context of the scripture but everything to do with God’s perspective on my situation. It releases me from having to be a Bible scholar and just trusting that God’s word is for everyone and always has something to say, no matter our educational level. So when I read the words of 1 Corinthians 9:24 and I realize that many runners may very well have taken it verbatim, and that’s OK, I’m reminded that my race today isn’t what I thought it would be. No half marathon, but I still get to compete. I still have an opportunity to be the one who gets the prize. Praise be to God, with my weary body, that my race might be one right into my Creator’s arms where He is offering stillness and healing that I need in the hear and now.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Cor. 9:24