Saturday, March 06, 2010

Quite often I think of how much I would love to follow Rhyan throughout her day. I would take her backpack from her and carry it on my shoulders. I would open doors for her, as most seem so heavy. I would make sure she had her glasses so she could see clearly. I would encourage her when her work was hard and hug her when she did well. I would kiss her face for no reason at all. I would direct her to sit on the opposite side from the girl that picks her nose and calls her names. I would guide her to play with the boy that makes her laugh and isn’t afraid to be her friend. I would comment on her art and marvel at her creativity. I would run along side her in the mile run, cheering her on. And at the finish, I would pick her up and swing her around in my arms. I would point out others that were in desperate need of a smile or kind word. I would hold her hand every chance I was given. At the end of the day, I would again carry her burden. And, finally, I would take her home.

When I signed up for the Marathon, I was conflicted and troubled. Was it really worth it? Did running a race really matter to Him? What does God care about these details of my life? When my knee started hurting and I was faced with the realization that I might not be able to run after all, I assumed that it really was pointless to Him and I was getting what I deserved. The Wednesday before the race, my knee wasn’t better. Doctor visits were proving worthless and medicine wasn’t working. I had quite a loud temper tantrum. My injury, my hopes, my desires – all of them were out of my control. It wasn’t until my meltdown that God lovingly convicted me of the sin that had been in front of my face all my life. Sin that I had never really noticed, but had wrapped it’s tentacles around my entire world, reaching out and touching every person around me. Tentacles that would one day wrap themselves around my children and reach out to those that they will come to love. Control. I had to be in control of every aspect of my world. If it wasn’t my idea, it wasn’t a good idea; when I was ready to go, everyone else should be, too; the girls couldn’t leave the house unless they were in coordinating outfits; if something interrupted my plans, it was going to ruin my day. As of last Wednesday, I am officially a recovering control-freak.

The Friday night before the race, I lay in bed praying about all I had learned about myself and my human frailties and how the race unveiled it all. I heard God speak to my soul, /Was it worth it? Do you think it matters? /The peace that descended on my heart was my answer.

I can’t follow Rhyan every second of every day. But, God can, and He does. And He follows each and every one of us. When we allow Him, He takes the burdens from our shoulders and carries them on His back, He opens the heaviest of doors that we would never manage on our own, He adjusts our eyes that they might rest on Him, He encourages us when we work hard and holds us close to tell us so, He reigns His blessings down on us like kisses to our face, He directs us away from boogers that are disruptive in our lives and guides us to be with friends that aren’t afraid to love us, He marvels at our creativity and the artwork of our personalities, He runs alongside us in our every day races and cheers us on, swinging us in His arms at the finish line, He points out those that need our help and He holds our hand all through our days. He carries our burdens until the very end. And then, at last, He takes us home.

In the end, the Lord carried me through 26.2 miles, injured knee and all. I know it was a miracle. I felt the prayers. He cares about the details of our lives, I know that with all that’s in me. He cares because the details are the palettes filled with the vibrant colors that He uses to paint our big pictures.

Was it worth it? Did it matter? Yes, Lord. Always.