Monday, March 18, 2013

Running Together

Any time I get to spend with my husband and girls all together is precious quality time.  It doesn't matter what we are doing...running errands, watching a movie, eating a meal, going to the park...any family time is a great and treasured blessing.  With all that said, there are things that are more fun to do together than others.  To make my fun list, running would be near the bottom.  Yes there are families that love running together, but me on the other hand would prefer a nice walk.  The girls and I love walking at the park, but please don't ask me to run.

My dislike of running has always been there.  When participating PE in elementary and jr. high, I never tried to run the mile.  As long as I could speed walk and get the qualifying time, I was happy.  In cheer-leading I would much rather do 100 crunches or 25 push-ups vs. the 4 laps around the field!  Running hurts my ankles and I just plain and simple don't like to do it!

I envision myself being a runner...hearing my feet pound the pavement...feeling the breeze in my hair...being all energized by the experience...but the vision quickly fades if I ever start actually running :)

Well, this weekend our family entered a 1 mile fun run to raise money for Bibles for Laos.  Surely we could do a mile!  I had a choice to make...try to stay up with my very fast 6 year old, or stay behind with my almost 3 year old and risk having to carry her for a mile.  I chose the little one.  I felt I had better odds with her (my 6 year old is extremely fast!), and if we were last I could always say she needed to take a lot of breaks!

The on your mark, get set and go was shouted and off we went.  We jogged along holding hands.  Daddy and Sissy was way ahead of us, but we were not last...until she looked at me and said I am tired.  Had we even been a quarter of a mile yet?  Up on my back she went.  We went back and forth the whole mile.  I would carry my 34 pound bundle of joy for a while and then we would jog for a while.  We crossed the finish line 17 minutes later...not last, but almost!  And although I was shooting for 15 minutes, I was glad we had finished.  We crossed the line like we began, holding hands and smiling!  As one runner past us while she was on my back, she told me I deserved two medals for carrying such a heavy load.  I smiled, but I was thankful for that heavy load on my back.  We were doing this race together.

In the race of life we don't need to carry our burdens on our back.  I know I tend to do that.  Worries and anxious thoughts pile up causing a heavy load.  The uphill climbs become harder as the burden becomes heavier.  We think about the bad things that could happen; we wonder what the future really holds; we question God's timing on different areas in our life.  But when we give Him these questions and burdens the running is so much easier.  When we realize we can trust Him to be by our side, the race is so much easier together.  We are not running alone!

Today's Verse
"whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he."  Proverbs 16:20b

I bet you thought I might use Phil 3:14.  I like that verse, but this Proverbs verse has jumped out at me a lot recently.  Running the race of life and handing our burdens over to the Lord involves major trust.  And that trust gives us peace and strength to keep running...peace and strength leads to true happiness.

When I am running with my 34 lb daughter on my back, it is hard but I am happy to be together.  But when I am running with 34 lbs of despair on my back, it is hard and I am miserable.  There is no happiness to be found.  When I feel the burdens of my worries mounting, my prayer is to lay those burdens at my Father's feet and ask Him to hold my hand and help me keep running.  I trust He will run with me, and that trust makes me happy!

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