Sometimes we’re called to a task – a race – that we aren’t prepared to run.
We stand at the start with shaking knees, dripping eyes and nose, and a real sense of dread.
The gun fires and we are called to engage. We know that we aren’t ready for the mileage ahead.
Will that bagel last the duration of the run? Will there be porta-potties where I need them? Do I have what it takes to keep going?
Will I get better or will I fail?
This is not sports. It’s life.
God calls us out of our stupor and tells us to run the race ahead: tough relationships, grueling work weeks, sick kids or friends, or dog barfing on the carpet while your kid is sick during the busiest week of your year…and your boss on the hunt for your chompable backside.
What do we do with this unreasonable, ridiculous, impossible assignment of living?
Sometimes I cry or get mad and get going or call friends for support or eat chocolate and peanut butter.
Or I learn all I can about the task ahead; read books, scour online papers, google “how to run a half-marathon with two broken legs”, and ask advice of experts.
This is my m.o. – my modus operandi: freak out, get educated, get motivated, get up, get going!
My response to the impossible task is often a flurry of intentional activity.
Eventually, however, my best response (or last resort) arises; to quiet my soul and seek the Unseen God.
Big Daddy & Junior.
It is in quieting and simplifying my thoughts to life’s all-hill marathons – in quiet prayer and seeking – that I find strength and hope for the race ahead.
Most often, I can’t do this thing of living with grace, grit, and flair.
Most often, I sweat, and swear, and swill in my own self-pity and ask God to magically make it all better.
Always, he calls me forth to walk or run into the race. He knows that the race is just battle training.
If I cannot be trusted to run the race, than can I be trusted to run to the battle – a battle too important to abandon or treat like a spectator sport?
Let’s lace up, folks. We can high five one another along the way. We’re burning daylight.
A psalm for the wondering and weary waiting at the starting line with tear-streaked faces:
Psalm 65: 1-9 (the Message)
1-2 Silence is praise to you,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.
2-8 We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,
they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, “Come and worship.”