There is a Thanksgiving episode of Friends where Joey convinces Monica to make a turkey even though no one else is eating it that year. Joey swears that if she will cook it, he will eat the whole thing. You see a shot of Joey, looking stuffed, sitting behind a turkey that looks completely eaten...until he turns it around and reveals the other side had not been touched. His famous quote (at least in our household)....."You are my Everest."
While I have been able to jokingly use that line in many different circumstances, it proves itself most true when it comes to running. I am NOT a runner by nature. I can remember walking all of my miles in gym class with the teacher yelling for me to hurry up. I am admittedly not an athlete (I mean, come on, who has time for that? I was too busy being social!). And honestly, I just can't do it! I have never had the lungs, never had the strength, and piled behind all of those excuses, I have never had the desire.
In the past two years I have begun a slow path to running. See, when I run, I get horrible, overwhelming cramps that usually stop me dead in my tracks. I have heard all my life....push through, run through them, hold your arms up, eat more of this, etc, etc. More often than not, none of those things have been successful, and the only thing that helps is to completely stop, let it pass, and try to continue on. I remember the day I was able to run 1/2 a mile without stopping. I swear I think a little party went on in my head! Then I made it to a mile! One mile, something so small and miniscule to someone else was a great victory to me.....one that had never happened in 30 years.
So if I don't really desire to run, I'm not good at it, and let's face it....what's the point....a piece of bling at the end or pat on the back???....then why do I do it? Truthfully, I've run for many reasons: for sanity, needed Laura-time, to push away pain, to find common ground with others, to see people at my finish line. All of those reasons, however, just never seem to be enough. They allow me to get through whatever I'm needing, and then just like those reasons fade, so does that desire for running.
After a long battle with a thrown out back, a broken tailbone, and a 4 month case of strep throat, I am ready to try again with a different attitude. God says, "Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10) Sure, he may be referring to our possessions but I choose to see a deeper meaning behind it. God tells us that whatever we give of ourselves, whatever we bring to the table, whatever blessings we possess.....test him....give it to Him....and see if he doesn't provide it back to you tenfold. Running is not my "test" to God, but rather my obedience to Him. I am trying daily to be obedient in running, patient as I wait to see what all He can do within me, and faithful by believing that He will....not because He has to, but because I have asked Him to. I know that just like life, running on my own will only get me so far....it HAS only gotten me so far. Wherever I go from here is because HE (NOT MYSELF) is allowing me to flourish. "Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (Prov. 16: 3, 9)
Running....is MY EVEREST!