Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
The day of our race was beautiful. Thirty minutes before the main race began, a starting gun signaled the beginning of a "pre-race" - It gave a 30 minute head start for people with disabilities who were racing in wheel chairs! I didn't think much about it at that time but this experience would prove to be a pinnacle lesson that would revolutionize how I thought about life.
Jeff said, "Babe, I'm with you every step of the way. Even if you have to quit running to walk, you're going to be able to finish. You can do this! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other."
So I did. Partly because of pride. Partly because there was no other choice. And partly because I wanted to finish the race!
The fourth mile marker came into sight. I could breathe better but was still hurting. Every step was a determined effort.
The fifth mile marker came into sight and I realized I was going to make it. I began to see past my present misery.
As we were approaching the 6 mile marker, I saw a man relentlessly pushing his wheelchair- obviously in pain but determined to finish.
As I pulled even with him, he smiled and spoke before I could say anything.
"Great job! Keep going! The finish line is just ahead."
Embarrassed by his positive words when I had just wasted 2 miles complaining, all I could manage was, "Thanks. You, too!"
His words, his spirit of joyful endurance stirred me. I got a 2nd wind. I began to pick up my pace. Then I saw the stadium not far ahead. I could see people going in to finish their race and I heard the crowd cheering. I could envision the finish line. All thoughts of complaining and weariness left as I focused on the reward- reaching the finish line.
I began sprinting the last 100 yards. Exhilarated I looked at the time and was wonder filled that I had done this thing- I hadn't died- or collapsed- or crippled myself. I was filled with shame I had complained so much.
I turned to Jeff and said, "Now that I know how long this race is, I know I could do it faster and better the next time."
Precious parents: especially parents of children with special needs. Life is a journey of daily relying on Jesus AND fixing our eyes on the finish line.
Life is a marathon- not a sprint.
Our Savior and Friend is with us every step of the way!
He doesn't care if we run, jog, walk, crawl, claw, or push ourselves in a wheel chair.
We don't know how long our race will last- but all we really have to do is walk with Him and put one foot in front of the other.
He is with us, strengthening us, encouraging us, and cheering for us. We're surrounded by others who have run the same race we are running and they are a testament that it can be done. And how much better to do it joyfully.
I think I learned Life is really about not missing the joy of our daily journey while keeping our eyes on the finish line.
I know life is hard- but I also know there is a beautiful ending point. Weeping and Pain my last for the night- but JOY comes in the morning.
We can do one more step with His help. And we can do it with purposeful joy!
No regrets. No looking back and wish we could do it over and do it better. We jut have do the best we can with the journey we've been given!
When we get overwhelmed with all our responsibilities and endless list of care-giving- STOP- Fix your eyes on the finish line: Our
endurance will be crowned with His glory.
Prayer: Lord, you know our frailty- our limits- our weaknesses. We rejoice You are the giver of the strength we need to endure each and every part of our race. Help us take one step at a time. We thank and praise You for taking us forward. Inspire our heart and mind to be fixed on the finish line and Your words- "Well done."