Do you see him? There’s just enough fight there. Just a little. Just enough. There’s some discouragement, though. He doesn’t know if this is actually going to work. He’s failed and failed so many times before. Again and again. It’s the pounding of life, you might say. It’s the storm after the warm, sunny day, and it’s going to stay awhile.
This is a picture of me running, and it’s a pretty shake a rough shot. It was in the first month of 2009 when I started running, so I took a picture one night towards the end of one of my runs. It wasn’t fast or pretty, but I got there. I forced myself to go out the door, run and finish what I started.
I had a friend tell me once he was to logic as I was to the emotive. He said both of us made our decisions, that we lived our lives in this way. He said I almost always went with my gut and what I “felt” was right. I guess I could see what he was talking about. His strength was his discipline and focus. Mine was being able to empathize and connect deeply. Neither is better. Logic helps you in training. Emotions bring the best out of you at the end of the race. It’s also why I always try sprint to the finish line.
I got on the scale this morning and I’m flat. I lost ten pounds since training began and now I just sit here somewhere between 256 to 258 pounds. Yesterday I ate to perfection. I went on a pretty fast run for close to an hour, so the My Fitness Pal app said I had over a thousand calories to still burn. Nope. The scale was pretty much flat again.
What do we do? When it gets like this and we get stuck. When we try as hard as we can to lose weight, or finish a book, or have a nice morning with the kids, or to be just a little better than we were yesterday. What do we do? Do we get lost in it all, chalk one up for the other team and throw in the towel? What do we do in this performance based society when everything is telling us we have to be our best? Do we quit? Do we give up? It is over? Or do we fight?
I was the fastest kid in my neighborhood on my BMX when I was a kid. I could outrace them, even the kids on ten speeds. They thought they had me because of their potential speed with other gears. Do you know how I beat them? I was faster than they were at the start, I rode the corners tighter, I went faster when I heard them shifting as they lost a little speed and I saved absolutely nothing for the end of the race. I went 100% as fast as I could the whole time, just like I do in spin class. I savedd nothing. Anyone who wanted to beat me, had to beat me at my best every time, and even the older kids couldn’t.
I had a plan. I stuck to it and I didn’t save anything for the finish. It’s like I meet people all the time who tell me once they get their lives figured out a little more they’re going to get serious about discovering God and I ask them “What in the world could you possibly be waiting for?” God loves you, he wants a relationship with you, and to blow your mind with an amazing eternity with him! Why would anyone choose to just go through the motions in this life and just try to keep doing better and be hopeful they’ve lived a good enough life? Why wouldn’t everyone want to meet Jesus full force and head on and spend eternity in Paradise with the God who created the universe? “And you’re waiting…what in the world are you waiting for?”
And our kids, these kids today get locked down in this mess of going through the motions. They think they have to go to a normal school 9 months a year, work hard at some junk job over the summer, save a little money, and do it all over again until you get a magical degree, and then get your dream job which turns out to kind of suck after all and now it’s kind of a crisis and nobody understands why you’re confused. This is why my seventeen year old daughter is going to the Bahamas to work at a Christian Sports Camp for seven weeks this summer. I’m passionate about her experiencing the world God created, and the beautiful people we can meet and serve. Why would a father ever deprive their child of that? This is the best life I can provide for her, to encourage her to chase after her dreams, and to discover what God is doing all over the world. She might have to get a little reckless doing it, but isn’t that kind of the point?
I don’t care. I’ll get up and keep trying as hard as I can to train and do whatever it takes to be ready for the ultra relay race I’m running this Fall. I don’t care what the scale says, because right now I’m doing an amazing job of being disciplined with my food, while giving 100% in my training and cross training. I will weigh 220 pounds by race day. I believe I will and I’m sticking to my plan. I’ll keep going all out 100% and won’t be afraid when I’m out there running of whether or not I can hold my pace and finish my run. I’m not going to throw in the towel. I might feel discouragement, but it won’t own me. It won’t control me. I’ll get up. I’ll fight another day. My story is far from over, and I truly believe the best is yet to come. I believe the same is true for you my friends, but some of you need to stop living in the past or in your regrets. Some of you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start living the amazing life God created you to live. I’m not sure what you’re waiting for, but can I tell you just one thing in love? Stop making excuses and stop playing the victim. Yes, life is tough, but you can’t let that stop you. Can you? It that what you really want? Do you want a life of untouched wishes and dreams, or do you want a life radically lived, deeply connected to God, and the life of a fighter who gets up every day inspiring others, including the people they love the most. Through the pounding. Through the heartache. Through the doubts. Who do you want to be?