Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Am Still Running

“The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.”
- Winston Churchill

There are few moments more spectacular than watching a horse run freely. God designed their bodies to move…legs and muscles reaching to propel them faster…hooves resounding like thunder against the earth…stretching out into a streaming fluidity of sheer grace and beauty in motion. A sight that is so powerful, it can bring even the most hardened man to his knees in awe.

This afternoon, my sister and I took my niece to the theatre to see “Secretariat”. What a wonderful movie! Everything about it just warmed my insides; the magnificence of the horses, the message of determination, the musical score. All of these things combined made for a beautiful, dramatic story of fortitude and perseverance.

As I sat in the theatre surrounded by the other moviegoers, it occurred to me how alike we all were in the dark. There were folks of all ages sharing the atmosphere – grandparents, baby boomers, thirty-somethings (my crowd), college students, teenagers, children and toddlers. Without the glaring lights overhead to illuminate every imperfection, every scar, every wrinkle, every handicap, we were similar creatures. For two hours we all shared in our willingness to shed our inhibitions, sit on the edges of our seats, clasp our hands together in nervous anticipation, and cheer on the characters with our desire to win the race.

I marvel in the moments where life imitates art. Watching the movie, surrounded by the variety of people, I realized that all of us are running.

In every aspect of the race, we struggle to persist. We run because we have places to be, bills to pay, tasks to complete, and a life to lead. We rely on each other to get the job done. At times, we sometimes fall and scrape our knees. But, each of us is filled with the willpower to dust off our boots and forge ahead. Along the way, God graces us with the opportunity to ride instead of run. And most importantly, to help our brothers get back in the saddle, or on their feet, when they have fallen. We need each other to complete the circle of life that runs endlessly.

God designed every one of us for a purpose. Some of us are meant to be leaders, charging several strides ahead to provide a solid path for others to follow. Some of us are teachers, encouraging direction, knowledge and patience as we face difficulty and the occasional bump in the road. Some are helpers, standing on the sidelines, supporting and urging us forth, stepping in to take our place when we have to stop and catch our breaths. No matter what talents and abilities we’ve been given, we are all able to run. We each have a pace, guided by a higher hand, pushing us gently onward to the finish line.

What lies before me in the race? I don’t know. The fear of the unknown causes my adrenaline to surge, compelling me to keep going. Stronger. Faster. Farther. Trusting in the places my feet land. Embracing the notion that ‘winners forget they’re in a race; they just love to run’.

I am still running.

I will continue to let the wind rush by my ears as I put one foot in front of the other. My goal is just around the corner, in the distance. Sometimes uphill. When I reach my destination I realize that I’ve completed only a small milestone in my journey. I must keep moving along my path into the horizon. Before long, I forget that I am running. I look down and the ground is far beneath my feet. And I admonish in the fact that my roots have grown wings.

When my legs are tired, I envision myself riding that horse. Borrowing freedom for a while. Until I am strong enough to run freely on my own again. And so fast that I have but to leap into the air to soar among the clouds. Reaching for my purpose.

There are few moments more spectacular than running freely. God designed our bodies to move…legs and muscles reaching to propel us faster…feet resounding like thunder against the earth…stretching out into a streaming fluidity of sheer grace and beauty in motion. A feeling that is so powerful, it brings us to our knees.

God has carried me this far. And I am in awe.

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