All three of our girls have joined the cross-country team. We aren't much for sports. But cross-country holds Duane and my interest. What we enjoy is 1. the coaches 2. the flexibility of practice 3. the training of what could turn into a lifetime sport and 4. the atmosphere the team provides. We approve. Katie is seeking cross-country to keep her in training for basketball and soccer. Lindsay is seeking cross-country for her PE credit, and so she can continue her music classes without any interruptions of PE requirements. Courtney is seeking cross-country because her parents said "your sisters are doing it, so you are doing it." (Oh, the joys of having siblings!)
I attend each meet. I am proud of all three of them. Each meet they have all improved. There have been disappointments when they see their time at the finish line, because they were hoping to finish faster, but each time they have improved. I watch. Katie has always embraced sports, and even though running isn't her favorite thing to do, her competitive nature keeps her on the course. I admire watching her determination. Lindsay, our first born, our perfectionist. Do I need to say more? She embraces her music with open heart and at ease...she expects her running to do the same, but it isn't something that necessarily comes naturally. At her last meet, the hardest meet they have, I saw the pain on her face. I saw she just wanted to call it quit. I wanted to endure that pain for her. I actually asked her "do you want me to run with you?", to my relief she said "no". And then Courtney. I have kept that mothering protective eye closely on her. I told her coaches over the summer "I know she isn't the fastest on the team, a matter-of-fact she is the slowest. This activity isn't about coming in the fastest, but for her to prove to herself she CAN do it." Each meet she has improved her time and each meet she has NOT been the last runner. She has impressed herself, and has seen that once consumed by the lie that she couldn't that she actually can and LOVES cross-country.
I see God's lessons in each of their lives. God gifts us with our talents, sometimes we take those talents for granted and expect life to continue at "ease". But to our dismay we run into our obstacles, but God is right there by our side. He wants to run with us, even carry us through those times we are in so much pain and ready to call it quits. HE is the prize at the finish line...HE is our victory. And there are so many lies to buy into, lies we are even unaware of are lies, but buy into just the same. It is those things God is trying to break each one of us from. What lies do you believe? I know I carry some of those "I cant's"...but like my grandfather once said "I can't isn't a word"...and it isn't a word of God's either. God can overcome these things with us. Today I will sit and ponder and make my list of those things I need God to overcome in my life, for I have declared my life as HIS, and only His!
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7