Run

runI am NOT

an athlete.

However,

I am privileged to be married to one,

and I have at least two daughters who are.

(The other two are still little enough that we are waiting to see.)

So when our oldest made it to State Track and Field,

I had the honor of two days at State, to cheer, learn, and enjoy.

It was an exciting experience, one I would not trade.

Lesson #1

Sometimes it costs more than you bargained for.

I learned this as I watched a group of boys tear around the track. The boy in first was enough ahead of the others his position was assured, however the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th placements were up for grabs as there was a group of boys who all seemed dead even. As they neared the finish line, each one straining every muscle to beat the guy beside him someone tripped. He lashed out with both arms and became entangled with the boy on his side, their limbs shooting into the air for something to help them regain balance, they interfered with the runner in the next lane over. The group literally fell over the finish line.

The announcer said, “Uhm, well–we’ll have to let the guys in the Nest sort this one out.”

The boys just laid on the track where they had fallen. Help came and it was determined that although in pain no serious damage had occurred.

Each of those boys who fell paid a higher price for their medal than the ones who were able to simply run across the finish line.

Lesson #2

Giving it your all brings it’s own reward.

Tears ran down my face,

for a complete stranger.

It was the three thousand and the runner, a girl, had made it to State and she ran the qualifying round and came in dead last.

I don’t know why she was some much slower than the other girls, but I was moved to tears by her persistence. Even when the girls in first, second, and third place lapped her, she just kept running. She didn’t look angry or disappointed or scared just determined to run.

When she finally crossed the finish line a wave of cheers went up for her. Not because she came in first, not because she was going on to the next round, but her tireless try won the hearts of the spectators.

Lesson #3

Don’t waste your opportunities.

Hurdles are tough for me to watch as I am afraid of seeing someone hurt (which had happened many times! Uhg!)

Two different races stood out to me. One with a young man who caught the very tip of his toe on a hurdle, he hit the ground, rolled, and stood back up in time to jump the next hurdle. He went on to run and jump the hurdles with such effort and success that he placed in the top five. Another race, run by girls was different. One runner did the exact same thing, caught her toe, hit the ground and rolled. But she got up slow, obviously hurt and limped forward to try to jump the next hurdle. She didn’t make it. Getting back up and running, not sprinting, to the next hurdle she came to it and angrily pushed it over. She was crying by now, her eyes were no longer on the finish line but on the other girls. Turning she marched off the track–she had given up.

What a contrast. I am sure that both of them had been hurt when they fell and both of them had been discouraged as they realized their chances at the 1st place had probably dropped out of sight. One of them went home knowing that he had given it his all, he had done what he was able, he had finished the race.

Lesson #4

Friends can be found in the most unlikely places.

Sissy had to run in two qualifying races. Both made her nervous as she loves to win but knows there were many girls in the State with better times in both races. As she crossed the finish line in the 100 meter qualifying race she knew she wasn’t first but was unsure if she had 2nd or 3rd place. The girl in 1st turned to her and smiled. “You got 2nd!” Sissy was surprised and grateful.

“Praise the Lord!” was her instant reply. The other girl looked shocked.

She leaned forward with questioning expression. “Are you a Christian?”

Sissy nodded, smiled, “Yes!”

The girl in first place threw her arms around Sissy and hugged her. “Me too!” They were grinning as they walked together to the side line. As they cooled down and drank their water the girl looked at Sis. “Do you want to pray together before we run again tomorrow?”

Sissy’s grin was huge.

“Absolutely!”

So in all of these lessons I kept thinking about the verse in the Bible:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Heb. 12:1

All in all our school was well represented at the State Track and Field. My throat was hoarse from screaming for our different athletes and my mind was full of wonder and thankfulness at how well our “little girl” had preformed. As we walked to the car at the end of day two I remember looking over at Sis. “God has really blessed you in all of this.”

Her eyes sparkled.

“Yes, He has.”

 

 

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