Tuesday, June 23, 2009

running, tripping, finishing

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."- Hebrews 12:1-3

I am not a runner. My first experience of running is in middle school. We had to run a mile. I swear I thought I was going to die. Foolishly I started out in the sprint, as we all did- given NO INSTRUCTION on long(er) distance running. Many a girls puked that day. I remember getting crazy pains in my side and wanting to die. I also remember how we run everyday for softball practice. Oh how I hated it!

One thing I have learned over the years about running, is that you must begin with the end goal in mind. For example, we as 7th grade girls started to sprint. We wanted to look "good" for each other. Like this was no problem. Then half way though some of us we puking on the side of the track. Or had to quit all together. And even the ones who made it were sick and cursing gym class. BUT had we been thinking we would have realized that we have a MILE to run. We should have started slow. Watched our pace. Looked to where we would have to end up.

I have attended 2 marriage conferences with FamilyLife Ministries. This morning I was sent this scripture in my email. And of course as you know my heartbreak over Jon and Kate I have to look at my own marriage. We all start the "race" with pretty high expectations. But unless we are looking at that end goal- a lifetime of partnership- we are likely to make some mistakes.

Sometimes I sprint. I look at the here and now and what I need today. And sometimes what I "need" for today is not important to my overall goal. So if I push for what I think I deserve or need right now I could end up tripping, falling, losing sight of the end goal. On the side puking. And sometimes just taking the "f" and walking away altogether. I need to look past somethings to work toward my overall goal. Finishing the race.

And one more thing on the whole Jon and Kate fiasco. If I hear either one say one more time- my kids are most important, we do everything for our kids, kids, kids, kids. Well, 2 things. First Jon had it right when he said "I have to do what is right for me,...and my kids." He is thinking of him. Him first and foremost. And Kate- your kids are not what is most important. Your relationship with God, and then your marriage. In a "kid centered" world I understand that this is a foreign concept. And I am not saying that children are not important. WAY more important than money, our jobs, our volunteer stuff. But our marriage is #1. The marriage was there before the kids and (hopefully) it will be there after the kids. AND when kids are in a home where they know their parents are committed to each other- that is when true joy happens. Kids want to know that daddy loves mommy, and mommy loves daddy.

Does this mean that I am perfect? In no way shape or form. I am very far off the mark that I wish I was at. So very far. I just know that God has been bringing things to my attention lately. I can listen and change my "stride" to get to the end. Or I am going to end up laying on the ground gasping. Or quitting. And that may scare me more than anything else.

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