Run Your Race

May I start by saying, #teambanks is not a “running” family.
Quite frankly, we aren’t a “really anything sporty” kinda family.
I don’t care what my kids do in the realm of sportsdom, as long as they
1) are moving their bodies, 2) stick with it and 3) have a stellar attitude.
I don’t even care if they are good.

Imagine my surprise when our tank of a 10-year-old son decided and actually stuck with running cross country.
What I love about cross country is that there’s no crazy lingo.
Football, soccer, baseball…they all have the vocabulary that coaches parents in the stands shout out.
Here’s me:
Hit the ball!  Run!  Come on buddy!  You can do it!
That’s about the extent of my knowledge.
Beside me, is always Sporty Spice who’s pressed up against the fence yelling,

Cross country.
You know what I have to say?
Easy peasy.

We’ve been spending our weekends cheering Reagan on and for the most part, it’s been super enjoyable.
Last Saturday, the day that God said, “Hey!  They think it’s the 2nd day of fall!  But let’s make it 114 degrees outside!  That’ll be fun!” we had a local meet.
There’s this one little guy on our team who is literally me.
Bless his heart, he’s coming in last, looking around, skipping, just enjoying life.
I’m not sure if his family makes him run or if he signed up.
Either way, he’s a hoot.
Saturday was no exception.
The gun fired and a herd of boys took off running.
About 4 minutes later, here’s our straggler.
All 47 pounds of him.
In order to maximize my position as head cheerleader, I move about the course trying to catch a glimpse of my boy and our team.
I’m in position when I look up and see a Russell mom, looking adorable in a blonde ponytail, big sunglasses and strappy sandals actually running the course with this little straggler guy.
He’d been left way behind all the other runners.
But this mama saw this and said, “Oh no.  Not today.”
She was not going to let him be left behind.
Y’all.  I was so overcome with emotion I just couldn’t help myself.
Then I saw her high school son, Eli, start running towards them.
He’s all dressed out in his high school Cross Country uniform and he’s coming to the rescue.
I lost it.
Thankfully people thought I was wiping sweat.
Who even cares…
To that tiny guy, Eli probably looked like Usain Bolt.
And Eli didn’t care that he was running this little fella in last place.
It wasn’t Eli’s race to win.

What a beautiful picture of our own race that Christ calls us to run.
What a beautiful picture of Jesus being right there beside us, always, in every situation.
Regardless of how old we are, how popular, rich, good-looking, educated, or skilled we are.
Jesus doesn’t call us to run as fast as we can.
He just calls us to run.
But along the way sometimes we need an Eli to come alongside us and say, “Hey little buddy!  You aren’t in this alone!  You aren’t setting any records today, but by George, you are going to finish!”

*Photo cred Megan Worthington

Sometimes that’s all we need to hear.
You aren’t alone.
Give it all you got.
I’m here with you!

Sometimes that’s all we need to say.
Hey, I’ve been there.  
It seems unbearable right now.  But don’t give up.
You’re almost there.

Do you need encouraging today?
Do you need someone to pop up beside you and say, “YOU CAN DO THIS!”
Or are you the one to come alongside someone and be the cheerleader?


Either way, there’s a prize waiting for you.
The race may not be pretty.
But the reward at the end sure will be.

I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.

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