Preparing for the finish
Coming to the finish I see the 26th marker. How many times had I imagined this very moment along the way, always wondering if it would belong to me? It was relief I felt more than anything else. Doubt was my companion as it presented itself in the weak times of this journey. The sacrificed time, the mental hurdle of impossible length, the victory of one more step and just one more step moving me to the end. The amazing end.
It was in the planning and preparing. Training the long miles, feeling out the hurt. Pushing myself a little farther bit by lengthy bit to find what I was capable of. Searching in the ache for the moments I would need to dig deep and ignore the pain for the sake of the finish.
Beauty is the finish line.
I hear their voices in varying octaves calling out for me. The chatter of the never ending arguments buzz in my ear as I listen to the familiar "That's not fair!" A small body drops to the ground in exasperation of things not going its way, and as I move towards the screaming I slip into the second cup of spilled milk.
I think that I can't handle much more, and if I could escape to a moment of quiet, to a moment of rest a respite from the race of the noise and the chaos I will be able to breathe.
If I had trained harder for this moment. . .
But there is no rest for me. Only more piled on top of more with its suffocating weight and at that instant when I hear my own voice rise above theirs I begin to stumble. I feel the losing of the calm rising from the deep, and in the midst of it all hating the sound of my own control lost.
If I had prepared in the quiet of his presence. . .
When they look up with the surprise of large, quiet-like eyes, everyone is afraid to speak. Everyone.
I did not run well.
That night, their grace greets me in a goodnight kiss, and an "I love you," and a "You're the best Mommy in the world, may I have another drink of water?"
Through the exhaustion, I dig deep and offer just one more hug and one more kiss for the sake of the beautiful finish.
It is all of God's grace that meets me in my own quiet room. Where he gently picks me up from the fall, and brushes off the ugly of my imperfect.
"Don't give up! You've got this."
Trying again finds me in the tomorrow with its own set of valleys and hills, not the same and yet the same still.
Did I learn in the practice of my yesterday?
With the morning of a fresh unvisited day I breathe the steady breath of his mercy. Determined to endure, taking hold of His strength in my journey to the beautiful.
A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.
Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith. He also makes it perfect. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He put up with attacks from sinners. So think about him. Then you won't get tired. You won't lose hope.