Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And the last shall be first...

Last Saturday, our local high school hosted their first-ever 5K walk/run to raise money. They had a pretty decent turnout despite the uncharacteristically frigid temp of 45 degrees! So Sarah, Claire and myself bundled up and headed out to participate...for Claire and me, it was our very first, official 5K race. We were very excited...cold, but excited.

We took off at the starter's signal, but were quickly passed by more experienced runners, walkers, joggers...basically anything with legs.

Soon it was just Claire and me....along with some old ladies and a couple walking a tiny dog.

Pretty soon even the dog passed us. It was apparent we wouldn't be setting any records.

But something amazing happened. It became more than just a 5K. It became a metaphor for life. Specifically, the Christian life. Our walk with Christ. Our walk with one another in this life.

As Claire and I approached the 2-mile mark, she wanted to give up. She kept whining. I tried to be positive and talk her throughout the path. (I didn't know a 5K was SO long....)

I held her hand. We laughed...and made fun of the dog, which was now a 1/4 mile out in front of us!

She was crying by now. She said she couldn't do it. Her feet were aching. Her legs were cramping. I didn't know what to do or say anymore. All MY words were gone. I walked out a few paces in front of her and sent up a "flare prayer"...."Lord, you are going to have to help her here. What do I do? What do I say to her?"

A few steps later I heard her sprint to my side. I grabbed her elbow and intertwined my arm in hers and began quoting scripture. Philippians 4:13 to be exact.


"WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH", Claire finished.

Just "some" things, Claire?

No, Mom....ALL things!

We were shouting it as we walked, arm in arm.

"We can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!" It became our cheer. It became our chant. It became internalized.

We were feeling stronger...much stronger. We got to the last leg of the race and were told we had to loop around the track one more time.

We saw the finish line and then were told, again, to run around the flagged area. Huh? (How long is a 5K anyway???)

We finally saw the finish line...the real, finish line, and a burst of energy took over. Several of Claire's classmates were waiting for her to finish and began cheering her on.

"Go Claire, GO!"

She sprinted up in front of me and proudly crossed the finish line.

We finished. She finished. The race. The entire race.

We did do all things. We were given strength. Through Christ. We could not have done it without Him.

I embraced her....emotions flooding my heart and mind. I was crying behind my big sunglasses and grateful that I had been able to play a part in God's plan for my daughter that day.

Afterwards, she said she "wants to do a 5K every weekend"!

I don't know about that...but I do know that God's word is "living and active" and gave us strength...right when we needed it.

So, I might have been last to finish this race...BUT, my daughter was first in God's heart that day!