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Monday, May 22, 2006

On Your Mark, Get Set…

Hold that “mark” for a moment please…

I remember in basketball the laps and laps and laps of seemingly endless and fruitless running. The entire team thought our legs were going to fall off at the exact point in time the coach would call for wind sprints…to the lines and back. It was torturous!

In track and field (back when it was a required course in school), I didn’t mind all the field events, and even excelled in some of them, thanks to my height and strength, but the running just never came with the passion others hold for it. I dreaded these events and while I could hold my own in the sprints, I ‘ate dust’ in the long-distance events and eventually found myself barely ‘jogging’ to the finish with the other less enthusiastic participants.

Clearly, I’ve never been fond of long-distance running. My response to invitations to run is always: “I only run if someone or something is chasing me!” Well it seems I’m being chased, because once again I find myself running.

When I read in the Bible the references to racing and running I often find myself rolling my eyes heavenward in that plea only a Heavenly Father could understand and the whimpering: “Do you mean this literally Lord? You know how I feel about running and how I struggle with losing! Surely this message is for someone else or better still it’s a reference to something else.”

Of course God gives me the smirkish look that says, “We’ve been over this before my daughter…but if we must, we’ll review!” (Sometimes God’s got to be sort of ‘in your face’ with me).

What I realized this weekend during the time my husband and I spent with some very dear friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, is that God has given us “water-people” along the sidelines to provide life-giving “water” to us when we thirst in the race.

You’ve seen these people at marathons; they step right out onto the track and almost throw the water to the runners. The runner drinks the water or pours it over their head and throws the cup down for these “water-people” to pick up the remains. The water people are this enthusiastic for each and every runner. They cheer the runners on and remind them “You can do it!”

Like these “water-people”, God has given each of us (in the race) people to give us water; to refresh us, to encourage us, to pick up our trash along the course. For me, this weekend, it was these friends we hadn’t seen in so long. They came, just like the “water-people” at the exact moment of my thirst. I was facing certain shin-splints had they not arrived when they did with the live-giving water refresher provided.

I have known this friend since I was 19. We have been to the pit and beyond together, and we have both been rescued by our Savior; Jesus. We both now seek to serve Him by serving others and we realize sometimes we need to replenish our water in our quest as we thirst. We have been there for one another with “water” many times over the years.

I love that God, in His desire to see me run to completion the race before me, has not asked me to run without support. I love that God has in fact given me “water-people” to help me when I’m most thirsty or to cool me when my head becomes to hot! I love that God has given me the strength to endure the race and the hills and turns come only when He has prepared me and enabled me to run them!

“…Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:12-14
Now back to the mark… “GO!”

Happy Monday Running!

8 comments:

Shalee said...

Kim,

Is it the Pure Life that I was referring to last night? That would help...

You are right. God does give us "water people" to encourage us in the race. I love that it is often different people at different times. And I like that I get to rest during the race at times and be a "water person" for someone else.

kpjara said...

Shalee, It MUST have been PURE LIFE water! I love the stuff.

I also love that we get to be "water-people" sometimes. Nothing makes me feel better then encouraging others...okay, except for winning! God obviously isn't finished with me yet.

the voice said...

Great post! We all do need "water people" in our lives, just as we need to do the same for others when they are getting dry. And isn't it glorious to know that if the race gets really rough, we have someone who will actually carry us? God bless you, Ken

great2beme said...

You know what is really awesome you are one of my water people, especially right now while I am running in the desert.

Morning Glory said...

I really like the idea of "water people" in my life. I'd like to BE one of those people. Thanks for a really good thought for the day and I hope your vacation is a pleasant one.

Joy M. said...

This reminds me that we all have a job to do. Each person has a different job. We can't all run because there would be no one to give us water. We can't all give water because there would be no one to run the race. The really cool thing is, that sometimes we change roles. We may be "only" giving water now, but later, but there are times when we are on the recieving end. It is when we recieve that we see how important it was for us to give and those who gave can really appreciate those that give to them. Oh so many lessons in this one! Good job, kp!

GiBee said...

I love that!! "Water people!" I wanna be a water person!

You have a great way with words, dear friend!

kpjara said...

GiBee you already are THE water person...now back to the race and get to running so we can give YOU water!

You all ROCK! Remember the water is PURE LIFE!