I felt one of those insights today during this fourth of July. My wife Melissa and I participated in the Folsom Firecracker 5K/10K (http://www.folsomfirecracker.com/). It's been a while since I've run a race and surprisingly it was a very enjoyable experience. There was a large group of diverse people in attendance... or depending on where you were, a diverse group of large people. Athletes, couch potatoes, families with kids, couples, single runners, young, old - it was a slice of humanity all gathered to join in this sweaty, exhausting celebration of freedom.
During the hour or so of running I had time to observe my fellow sojourners and just listen to the random thoughts that flashed across my mind:
That old dude is in so much better shape than I am. Crap! Here comes another hill. Stupid junior high punk with his crazy metabolism; you SHOULD be beating me, skippy. Man, my nips are on fire! Why did I forget the band-aids?? How you like me now, Mr. Blue Shirt? Thought you could pass me? Not on my watch, son. Did that chick just cut the cheese? I thought I heard her... oh yeah... can't... breathe... gotta... focus... on... running...Juxtaposed to these earthy tones was the apostle Paul and how he compared this life to running a race. I think that old Jewish Roman teacher had something in that. It's a really good paradigm of what we experience daily.
Think about it. We as humanity are all grouped together in space and time. We're progressing towards some end. We come from different backgrounds and have different strengths and weaknesses. And some of us make this thing called living look so easy. You know who I'm talking about. These folks walk with a swagger, finish early, and do their cool-down laps at a pace that's just unnatural.
Others of us are struggling on the flat and level path, to say nothing of the hilly bits. We are the ones that like to wait a bit at the water station and enjoy that cool cup of refreshment. Here's the kicker, though. We all cross the finish line. Fast and slow, provided we don't give up and walk off the course we all finish. As long as we keep pointed towards the end and move at whatever pace we can muster, we WILL get to the end.
|Me and my schmoopsy-poo|
I think that's an insight as we move throughout our day. Some days we're exhausted and can't seem to find our form. We see others breezing by us in shorty-shorts while our Cheetos-stained shirt is plastered to our belly buttons. That's okay. We're still on the course. Let's look around for that water station and get something cool and refreshing. The finish line is still front of us and we will cross it someday.