A few years ago, OK, now it’s been several years, I walked a marathon. It was a fundraiser for an important cause to me. My sister and best friend and I trained and walked together. It was a night that I will never forget.
We started walking in the evening, just before sunset, and walked until just after dawn on a hot and sticky August night in Washington D.C. It was one of those nights that never really cooled off from the day.
I started that night full of inspiration and energy. I had logged many many miles of training walks in the months before and was ready for this night. I had my well broken-in but not yet worn out shoes, a hip-pack with clean socks, band-aids and granola bars, and two of my closest friends and supporters by my side.
And yet, with all the preparations, provisions and support in place, I still came to a wall in that journey.
About 3 miles from the end, my feet were on fire, my legs were broken out in hives from the heat, my friend had twisted an ankle and been shuttled off to the finish line 3 miles previously, I was hungry and exhausted and the next port-a-potty was a painful ¼ mile away.
Tears rolled down my face. I stopped dead in my tracks on the path. I was done.
And then…I got mad.
This stupid course is not going to beat me. The heat of D.C. is not going to stop me. Are you kidding me? Of all the things in my life I’ve been through and will go through, this is not going to be the thing that stops me. I will not stop, that’s not who I am. I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this.
And I took a step. And then one more. And kept taking one step at a time until I crossed the finish line.
Some days this is what my faith journey looks like too. Some days are just plain hard. Tears roll down my face, despair strangles my soul, and I am done.
And then I remember to pray.
Nothing fancy or profound. Most often it’s not even my own words, but the words Jesus gave us to say, “Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”
Somehow, it helps. It’s that next step that gets me moving, ever so slightly, again. God knows me better than I know myself. God cares about my hurts and struggles. God hears my prayer. God knows and loves you better than you know yourself, cares about you, and hears your prayers.
Be blessed this Lenten season, by the love of God which passes all human understanding. May you be met in the moments of energy and enthusiasm as well as the really hard and painful ones with God’s love, light, and hope. The hope of brand new life. The hope of the risen Christ. I promise, God promises, he’s just around the bend!
Sharing the journey,