Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh Jeremiah. We Race With Horses!

This morning on the way to Norlina, I was listening to HisRadio and they played a "Quick Minute with Beth Moore" (this is the actual broadcast I heard) and she quoted the first part of Jeremiah 12: 5, "If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?  If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?"

My mind raced back in time to the 9th grade. Never mind what year that was. I remember it; that's what matters. We were going to have to run the 4  minute mile that year in PE before the year was up. That was the stated goal and what a great deal of our grade would rest on. Those who know me can go ahead and roll their eyes at that one. Yeah, right! Carol ain't running no 4 minute nothing! I may walk it in my own good time, but run? Ha! Jog it, even? You gotta be kidding me. It wasn't happening.

Well. My Daddy thought differently about the matter. Daddy was wiry and spry. An athlete. He played every sport at the orphanage. He played church league softball and golfed as an adult in Conway. He has stayed fit and active. Shoot, the man will be 83 in June, as I write, and still golfs when the weather is nice! This same man saw no reason that I shouldn't run that 4 minute mile.

Let me say this about myself and it has always been true of me. I'm not artistic. I'm not a musician. I'm not athletic. All of that to my parents' dismay. BUT! But, by gollies, I Am Stubborn!

So, Daddy would take me down to the softball field, which was conveniently across the road from our house, and which, also conveniently, 4 laps around it was a mile, and we would "jog" that track. Now, he may have vastly different memories from me, but, I vividly remember him trying to push me around that blasted track. I was "Darling Daughter" and Darling Daughter wasn't jogging. In no time, I'd have a pain in my side. Literally AND figuratively. I don't know which was the bigger pain. My side or my Daddy! He stayed behind me and if I got too slow, he'd push me a little. Or he'd step on my heels. Man that man was mean! 

I tried.... OK, no, not really. I showed up. I don't remember how many times we trekked to the track before he gave up on making me into anything faster than a walker, but it was several. But looking back, I think even then, God was preparing me for when I'd have to race horses. 

If I had wanted to run or even jog, I would have. I didn't want to and could've cared less about it. I didn't care that a grade rested on my doing so. I was stubborn and I wasn't going to be forced to run if I didn't want to. And I didn't. I did things as much my way as possible. In my own way, I stood my ground, even when standing my ground could get me grounded. I didn't get pushed around that track but for so long before I'd had enough. But Daddy also stuck at it long enough to teach me that sometimes we really do have to push through the pain and keep going. And when life wants to step on our heels, we really do have to move faster and stay ahead of it as best we can so we don't get tripped up by it. And when we do get tripped up, we get up and keep going. We stand.

In life in general, and melanomaland specifically, we race against horses. If we can't manage against the small stuff, how in the world are we going to race against the big stuff? And if we can't keep our balance when life is on an even keel, how are we going to manage when the road gets rocky and perilous?  God's not going to always remove the thorn from our sides, no matter how many times we may plead for Him to. Just ask Paul (2 Corinthians 12: 7- 10).

We're training to race against horses and more than likely we will each have a race or two. We can count on it. We don't have to like it. We just have to expect it and be ready to run.

We don't race alone though. We don't stumble alone either.

And thank God, we all have a Daddy nipping at our heels, pushing us along, telling us to keep going and not give up.

I didn't listen in the 9th grade. 

I'm listening now.

And I am grateful!