Recently my 4-year-old began asking me to take her running in the mornings. I'm pretty positive this desire stemmed solely from the fact that she loves to wear her favorite purple "running" shorts. She certainly has never seen either of her parents go for a run! In fact, the last time I went running for exercise/"fun" was about five years ago when I promptly got sick and found out the next day I was pregnant. I took that as a sign that my love/hate relationship with running was finally over. Fast forward to my daughter's request, and of course I want to instill in her a healthy lifestyle and positive experience of exercise, so finally, I caved. We both changed into our "running" shorts, put our hair in ponytails, laced up our sneakers, stretched our muscles, and we were off! We barely made it around the corner of our next door neighbor's house when she promptly stopped, sat down on the curb, and declared dramatically, "Whew! Let's take a rest!" I don't see any cross country scholarships in our future, but you never know...
Back when I did actually run on the cross country team in high school, I memorized this poem that I would recite in my mind over and over again to get me through the long, hard practices. I am not sure of the author, as I clipped it from a magazine in those days when instead of googling quotes and inspiring poems, one would scour magazines and books to make collages and decorate your Trapper Keeper. I think this is how it went:
To run life's race for you is my desire,
to contend eagerly along the way.
I'll go the distance, heart and soul afire,
as unto You I dedicate each day.
There may be obstacles along my pathway,
but I will overcome them, stride by stride.
Nothing will deter me as a run, Lord,
as long as You are running by my side.
Maybe you are a runner and can use this poem in your running repertoire for inspiration. Or perhaps you're like me and only plan to run if being chased. But either way, I hope and pray that for ourselves and the children entrusted to our care, that we will each know that we do not run life's race alone. Together we can go the distance, overcoming every obstacle together, knowing that God our Creator, the Holy Spirit our Comforter, and Christ our Savior is with us every step of the way.
Rev. Susan Pinson