Friday, May 16, 2014

What does your finish line look like?

It was a beautiful day for a run.  So I ran and I thought.  I think a lot when I run, in fact my best inspiration comes while running.   Today I thought about the last half marathon I ran.  The first 9 miles were down a steep canyon.  It made for a very fast pace along with very cramped muscles.   I worried at any point my muscles might seize up and I would be laying on the side of the road grabbing my leg in sheer agony like a few of the fellow racers I had passed.  It was not a pretty sight, it really didn't look fun and I really didn't want to join them.  Eventually, the steep canyon leveled out and flat land mixed with hills emerged.  I felt like I was running in quick sand.  I was barely moving.  The only thought playing over and over again in my mind was... Where's the end?  Around every turn I searched for any sign of a finish line.  I just wanted to be done.

 Finally, the end was in sight and I broke into a full out sprint to squelch the agony.  When I quit running, my leg seized up into a full cramp all the way down to my toes.  The very thing I had hoped to avoid I had hit head on.  I was inwardly freaking out and looking around for emergency aid.  I tried to pull my foot the opposite direction to ease the cramp out and I felt it releasing its grip.  Then I noticed tables for massages, I thought this would help my predicament.  It is here that I should mention that I wasn't running this race alone.  I had come with my sister and my son, Jesse and this was Jesse's first half marathon.  I knew my sister's pace would be around the 2 hour mark and Jesse's I thought would be a little before that.   I thought I had enough time to get a massage and still get back to see them finish.   The massage took longer than expected and I hurriedly hobbled off  in search of them.  To my disappointment, when I saw them they were already at the car.   My sister asked where I was. She was looking all through the crowds for me as she ran towards the finish line. ( And her pics on the homebound stretch verified that she was telling the truth- every pic. showed her with this searching look on her face.)  She was hoping to find me cheering for her,  but I wasn't there.  I thought I would have enough time to do both.  I didn't.

The consequences of not being able to see my son finish his first half marathon and cheer my sister over the finish line still fills me with regret.  I wish I could go back and choose differently, but since I can't...learning is my consolation prize.  I learned time is fleeting.  We may not have time to do all we want to do in life.  We have to choose.  We have to decide what is most important to us every day. If we don't prioritize, we will find ourselves in the thick of thin things.  I took a good look at myself and saw the things that I proclaimed were important to me weren't showing up on my radar every day.  God was important to me, but personal scripture study wasn't happening every day.  Some days were busy and I didn't get around to it.  If He is the most important thing in my life.... why were other things taking precedence?  Or my family, they are the greatest treasure to me on earth and yet again on some days I was so busy or tired that I didn't have time or energy left to spend quality time with them.

Whether we realize it or not, there is a finish line and there are consequences for the choices we are making here.  Some people don't believe it or don't care, but that doesn't change the reality.  The scriptures talk of judgement day for everyone and there is no way around it.  The way we spend our time and the choices we make determine destiny.

I hope to write a better ending to my life's race.  That when my sister looks for me, I am there cheering her on.  I hope when my son is accomplishing his goals that I am there to rejoice with him and I hope when my race is over and I am there before God that I can look up at Him confidently knowing I ran well the race He set before me.