Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Run YOUR Race

I had submitted this to Praise and Coffee Magazine but it wasn't used so might as well put it up here.

No, I’m not a runner, but I play one on my blog. Seems the theme lately for a lot of people is run the race with endurance. I think this can apply to everyone. No matter what you are going through, it can be a race to be run.

The definition of endure is to hold up under (pain etc); to tolerate; to continue or last.
Endurance is the ability to last, stand pain etc.

I think that sums up life in general!

We finished up another year of homeschooling. I really feel a deep sense of satisfaction this year. We pressed down and trudged through my twins’ freshmen year. Come fall will be closer to the finish line. This has been a long distance race that I have been running, but it has come with a hard price of enduring. Sad to say, it hasn’t been a pretty run either.

I’ve seen some runners that have a stride that is spot on perfect and then there are other runners who’s legs are flopping all over the place and you’re amazed they are still upright and moving forward instead of crashed and burned, wrapped around a tree ½ mile back.

I am the second runner in this scenario.

I was not a fan of school. Everything was a struggle for me and I still think algebra is from the underworld. So when God put it on my heart to homeschool our boys, I started to try and negotiate my way out of it. I think I almost had a power point presentation on why this would be bad idea. I wasn’t let off the hook.

So off I went with fear and trembling. The first few years, while bumpy as I tried to get my stride, went pretty well. Then life threw a curve ball and we were barely surviving. I couldn’t cope with life and we were barely doing anything. When that storm passed, and I was told no I couldn’t stop, I was able to pull myself together only to have no money for schoolbooks. I faked my way through a year of schooling with not much. And did I mention that was the time when my sweet little boys turned into psycho tweens who knew everything? I was ready to sell them for a pack of gum. All the while I was surrounded by women who had their stride down and weren’t struggling to the degree that I was. I found myself no longer in the pack running but falling behind struggling.

There are moments in a race when you find yourself all alone. It’s just you and the pavement of life. No fans cheering you on and your mind, body, and will are all saying, “I am so done, pull over.” But you can’t because you have Jesus whispering in your heart to keep going. Your confident stride is gone and you find yourself just putting one foot in front of the other trying to make it to the finish line before you come to your senses and collapse.

I did allow “I’m done” to win one year and every time I went to pray, I was stopped short. There was no moving on because I wasn’t even in the race. I was bawling in prayer telling God all the reasons why I couldn’t go on. He very lovingly told me I already wasted a year and if I didn’t get off my butt I was going to lose another year. I asked if that was His final answer. He said the race was not over but I had to cross that finish line.

I laced up my shoes, wiped the sweat out of my eyes and got back up.

In the movie Facing The Giants there is a scene where the coach has one of his players blindfolded and crawling across the field with another guy on his back. The player had to follow the coach’s instructions and there was the coach crawling right along with him screaming, “Don’t stop! Give it your best, your very best! Don’t stop, don’t quit!”

All that kid could feel is pain.

I’ve been there in many different races. The weight is on your back pressing you down, you can’t see where you are at or where you are going. Everything in you is burning and shaking from fatigue, and no one else is there to help lighten the load. Can you hear Him? Can you hear your Heavenly Coach right along side you telling you don’t stop, keep going?

No one ever said we had to run with beauty and grace - it just said to run the race. You may find yourself in several races at once. I thought I would be forever wiping noses and stuck watching little kid’s shows until my brain crawled out of my ears. But that part of my race is done and now I am dealing with teenagers and once again my brain is threatening to crawl out of my ears and run away.

Don’t stop. It won’t last forever. Give Him your very best and keep running your race until you hear, “well done, good and faithful runner.”