I remember it so vividly like it was yesterday. Our school didn’t have a track team, so one of our head coaches decided to bring track and field to our school. Everyone was inexperienced, but it didn’t matter. We were all excited because is was something new and shiny with a lot of rewards. So, I, with my overachieving self, signed up for triple jump and cross country.
To my surprise, I had a lot of beginner’s luck with triple jump, but cross country, well that was another story.
In my head, I knew that I could smoke everyone else running because they all ran funny and slow. The announcer yelled “GO”, and I was GOOOONE. You hear me, GOOOONE. When I came to the 3rd lap with only “1” more to go, honey, the ones that ran funny and slow gracefully passed my huffing, puffing, and barely can breathe behind BEHIND!!My friends literally had to keep cheering me on to finish the race and carry me off the track when I was done. I fell out.
To much of my surprise, that funny little run was to ensure that the strides were a little longer. The feet lightly touching the ground was to cover more ground & to minimize the impact of the weight of the body with the ground. The slow pace was to preserve energy until the final lap.
Things I couldn’t have possibly known without an experienced coach, more study, or just plain experience.
I’m expounding on this journey of my life because recently I found myself relearning this lesson. I jumped into a race amongst others, unknowingly. I began to lose my identity willingly just in order to feel somewhat relevant. I KNOW ME in and out, and it took some time to get back to ME. I have always been a person whose whole mission is to give and share. Yet, I jumped into the competition of being on top which frustrated the essence of who I am. I found myself trying to compete when I had no need, I found myself running fast when I know my own pace, and I found myself giving out of breath trying to keep up. Huffing and puffing for absolutely no reason. On top of all that, I ran in the race without a coach to truly show me the ropes, and had to learn the hard way on my own. Learning on my own taught me this:
- I can cover more ground if I take longer strides of patience.
- I can preserve my energy if I run at my own pace.
- I can minimize the impact of how much these lessons hurt by simply being easy on me.
To be honest, none of us belong in a race for gain. What God has for me is for me, and what God has for you is for you. What we are designed to accomplish, achieve, give, share, or become is solely in our own blueprint in the building of humanity’s oneness. We are not running towards short lived gains, but rather we’re running towards long lived legacies and love that resonates through life lines. We are pacing ourselves to truly absorb the universe’s intent for our lives and our connections. We are running but not with each other, we are running to save the lives of those who don’t realize that they are out of breath from a race they never were meant to run in the first place. It’s ok, we’ll make it to the finish line no matter who gets there first. So, in the mean time lets just run together.
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