Monday, May 3, 2010

The Race

We're waiting out in the hallway while Shep is in the OR. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on running my first 5K.

I have to say after running yesterday, that every Christian should run a difficult race at least once in their life- and yes, a 5K was difficult for me. Don't laugh.

"Why should every Christian run a difficult race?" you ask.

It has something to do with a little verse tucked away in the book of Hebrews, chapter 12.

"1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
As I type this out, they have just come to take Noah back and that was way too fast.

That only means one thing.

He did not get his trach out. And I am disappointed. But I will continue to put on my glasses and try to see my world and my experience clearly. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path..." This means I may not see very far ahead but I can see clearly enough to put one foot in front of the other.

Speaking of which, about that 5k.

It. Was. Hard.

I usually run 2-3 miles and it's no biggie. So either I have measured the mileage wrong in the past OR the 95 degree humidity was kicking my butt. To prove to you how difficult I thought it was, I thought I was coming up on the end and as I approached I saw it said

"1 MILE".....DONE!! Not to finish.

Here I was only 1/3 the way through and I began to think, "this may get tough." THEN we hit the VERY long stretch of shadeless, scorching, sun as we pounded the brand new black ashphalt. It was HOT! And I was TIRED!
And I wasn't done yet. Not even close.

This is so much like life. This is so much like today. And I am so glad God lead me to run that race on that day. The day before Sheph's bronch.

Because I was helped to remember this...

Life is a race. And God urges us to RUN it and not just to RUN it but to go with endurance. That's the hard part.

We get surprised when the run gets hard. What happened to the leisurely jaunt through the park? Where is the breeze?

I'll tell you I was surprised. I was thinking with each step. THIS. step. SUCKS. step. I. step. WANNA. step. QUIT. step.

A lot like life. But God is not surprised that life can be hard.

In fact in books like Peter it implies we should assume life will be difficult. Not all of it, hopefully. Though I must mention that for a LARGE portion of the world, life truly began as a mission of survival and will be that way till death. There are so many who face starvation, disease, war, trauma, and others things that are unthinkable.

So I'm not trying to be morbid, just realistic. Just because you may not think life can be hard doesn't mean it won't be someday or that it isn't for most others. Again, I am not trying to depress you, just to help you be equipped to face life truthfully.

If you do venture to take such a risk, watch out.

Becuase you'll need a pretty big God to face it with you and come out hopeful. And you'll find out real quick wether the God you serve is the limitless God of the bible or a puny idol you have created out of your imagination and experiences, then slapped a GOD sticker on.

SO I ran and ran and ran and most of the time I wanted to give up. Here is where you think, "man those marathons can be hard....oh wait, that's right it is just 5K."

But it took all of me. And as I ran in the scorching heat, feet pounding the pavement, feeling as though I may never actually see the finish line, much less run to it, I kept thinking about one thing.

I kept thinking about my life...and the finish line. My life....and the heat. My life...and the hard pavement. My life...and how the breeze would blow when least expected, giving me a refreshing boost to keep going. My life...and the shade tree that would seem to pop up just in time to give me a break. My life... and the gracious folks holding a drink for me to grab like a spring in the desert.

It was all so much like the Christian life. There were times I really enjoyed the run. There was some shade, there was water, but there was much of it that was pure pain. And I had to ENDURE to finish well.

In Hebrews 12, God asks this of us. He not only promises his son, Jesus, to make it possible if we set our eyes on Him, but he also reminds us that Jesus, God himself, ran the very same race-actually worse.

He ran the Marathon. And I struggle to run the 5K. And he promises He has been there and will run this one with me.

SO I am filled with hope. Because as I ran, every ounce of me longed for the finish line and the rest that awaited me beyond it.

As I put one foot in front of the other, all I could think about was what it would be like at the end of my life to cross the finish line and fall into the arms of Jesus.

And know it truly was finished. That all that I loved in life would be perfected. And all that was broken would be eternally fixed. And I would behold the face of Jesus forever.

What a finish line.

That will truly be worth the run.

So we face the disappointment of Shepherd's bronch by continuing to run. Cause it's not necessarily supposed to be easy. But it can still be good, when your running for the finish line.

The Doctors saw a number of things that caused them to choose not to decanulate Shepherd.

First off was new information, that his adenoids were abnormally large, which will possibly warrant surgery in the future.

Second was that his airway was still abnormally floppy, not blocking of his whole airway, but some.

Third was the scar tissue, which was still massive.

Fourth was also new information which will need more exploring. There was a portion of his trachea moving into his left lung that was narrowed. It appeared that the narrowing was from his heart pushing up against it. This is information they will give to the cardiologist. They will want to make sure that this has not happened because of his heart working harder than we have been able to see on echo, therefore enlarging, therefore leaning on his airway. This also explains why he has had such a hard time with colds this winter.

The good thing they saw was that his vocal chord seems to be coming back a little.

So we'll explore some of those things but mostly just wait for him to grow. Because there are so many things stacked on top of each other, they don't expect to try again till next Spring. SO we're looking at at least another year.

And we'll keep running, knowing it may be hot now, but shade comes if you keep going. In retrospect this is a rather short race, this thing called life. And we only get one chance to run it, and to keep going, and to finish well.

Thank you, Lord for the many ways you have blessed us and protected Shepherd. He is so happy, and beautiful, and smart and healthy in so many ways. We have so much to be grateful for. Thank you. May you be glorified in each step of the race. Wether I walk or run or cry or laugh, I just want to finish well. Keep me.


Creswell Crew said...

Love you all. Praying.

Carolina said...

Beautiful Steph. Thanks for the encouragement and your honesty that a 5K can be hard!! I love you SOOO much!

Carolina :)