Last night was our first Team In Training meeting…a kick-off party to meet our coaches, mentors and the staff of LLS. The run coach gave us our training schedule and our first run is on Saturday. She assured us we start off real slow “just” a 3 mile run. Everyone seemed relieved, except me. The last time I ran 3 miles straight was over a year ago…and I haven’t done any exercise (except gardening and spreading rock) since the Half Marathon a few weeks ago…
Here’s my opportunity, to see just where I stand, fitness wise. So, how strong am I? I decide I am just going to no-holds-barred, just all-out RUN. Let’s just see how fast, and how far, I can go before having to stop. I set up my Nike Ipod to track it, and head out.
1.87 miles. That’s how far I can run, before the pain of my shins and the lack of oxygen makes me slow to a walk. I looked down at the Ipod to see how far I made it and was crushed…barely halfway. And right there on the hard asphalt, next to a shady oak tree in an unknown neighbors yard? I started to cry. Self-doubt and fear came crashing in…the 26.2 miles I have to do in Oct? Nothing, compared to the fear I have of the mere THREE miles coming up Saturday (only the day after tomorrow!). Visions of me, the red-faced straggler, in the back of the pack, that the whole team has to wait for!? How mortifying.
I start walking, and remember this place. It feels familiar, this emotion. I recognize this pain, this fear…when? I’ve been here, before. What is it?
oh. yeah. it is the End of Me.
It’s the place where I realize, “this is all I’ve got.
and it isn’t enough.”
I’ve been here before. plenty of times now, in this 28 year journey with God…
In my marriage: when I needed to love more, and just couldn’t.
In my parenting: when I needed wisdom, and didn’t have any.
In my past: when I needed to heal but couldn’t forget or move on.
and the feeling is familiar, and the solution is clear and this road has been walked enough that my heart recognizes the clear path through and suddenly I start grinning through my tears…oh yeah, this God! This big, wonderful, powerful God has always met me, right here. At the point of my need, at the place where I give up and ask Him to do the rest. If He led me to start this journey, He will carry me through it, as He promised.
So He and I, we start talking it over.
It’s called “Team in Training, Lord…will you be on my team, Father? We know how far I can go, and it’s about 24 miles short. I need You to work a miracle in this body and it starts this morning. These size 9 feet You created? How about You pick them up, and I’ll just put them down? (when we work together, He always gives me the easiest part) I believe You care. I believe You are with me. I believe that You are a rewarder of those who diligently seek You and I am seeking You because I can’t do this alone. And I am glad I am so weak. I am glad I get to see You at work. I am glad I haven’t had any option but You, in overcoming pain and fear…and it’s just a run, God but its so much more…help me, please?
and I feel His answer starting churning through me, and the next song on my Ipod is “Your Grace is Enough” and I start laughing, and running and suddenly I am at my mailbox…and the Ipod says:
and I am ashamed that it always surprises me, how much He loves, how abundantly He provides for His children.