Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Race

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1 NLT

What am I doing here, I thought, as I stood in a "pack" of runners/walkers in the annual "Race for the Cure" event sponsored by the Indiana Parkinson Association. I am NOT like my daughter and son-in-law who thrive on the adrenalin of a competitive event. They willingly brave cold, heat, and rain to join others in enduring and even finding joy in the race to the finish. Many a time, usually while babysitting the little ones, I have stood on the side lines watching the two of them pin their "numbers"on their jerseys, stretch, and mentally prepare for the race. And I am quite often parked near the finish to cheer at least one of them over the line or positioned somewhere on the course to witness their efforts and yell "go, go, go"!
So here I am, standing in a torrential downpour, waiting for the "gun" to signal the start of my portion of the race. Now mind you I have a bum right knee with advancing scoliosis not to mention Parkinson shakes and imbalance issues. Therefore today I am only walking a mile-no big deal. But why am I doing it? I guess I felt it important to support the Parkinson Research Organization. After all, someday soon, I hope to benefit from new developments in curing this dreaded disease. 
Yet as I stand here watching the little rivers run off my hood I think I am here for another reason. I want to, in some small way, feel what my daughter feels as she is competing. I want to understand her drive, her excitement, her joy in the race. So I endure the rain and walk on when signaled. By the time I complete my mile I really want to continue on! It IS fun. People cheer and when crossing the finish line you experience a sense of extreme accomplishment. Next year, after knee surgery and sessions with a chiro on my back, I WILL walk the 5K. Who knows, maybe someday I can join the elite 10k walkers!

While driving home God reminded me that life is a race. He has set each one of us on our own individualized course. Some days will be filled with sunshine while others will involve going through battering storms. Yet He will provide a cheering crowd of witnesses and will be our protective "raincoat", if we take what He offers. Sometimes we will slip in the mud or stumble on the rocks but He promises to lift us up out of the mire and set us on dry ground where we can continue the race.
I want to cross His finish line, spent but joyful knowing I "stayed" the course!

Below is a photo of my race number. God has an individual number for each of us. He cares for us personally. In fact He is our greatest side-line cheerleader!
Psalms 139:16-18
"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand-when I awake , I am still with you." Now THAT is reason to cheer!!