Skip to main content

A Different Kind of Finish Line

I've run quite a few races somewhere around 122 now over the 6 years since I started running. I've crossed every single finish line of every race I started. I've crossed some feeling like I could take on the world, and crossed some in so much pain I though I've never run again. Some races are good and some are endured. This photo is the first race I ever took my son to. I am working on being able to take him to more - just working out some chair issues.

I started running just after I became a caregiver as it was a way to work out frustrations and stress. No matter how I have crossed each finish line the point for me is that I've showed up - and kept going. I'm not fast but I don't have to be. I just have to be in the moment.

Here's why I was thinking about running this morning. My thoughts first started in Psalm 61 as it's my go-to psalm when I feel totally overwhelmed like I do today. My emotions are all over the place and my thoughts seem so random. Some of that is due to the holiday. I thought of all the people who don't have normal  Thanksgivings. Caregivers are one type of people  who find holidays less rewarding in many ways. But there are lots more out there who suffer through holidays such as families who just lost a loved one, those dealing with terminal illnesses, elderly with no family, single people who live in a "couples" world, etc. This list could go on forever - everyone doesn't have a picture perfect Thanksgiving.

I think what put me on overload was thinking about all I have to get done to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I still have my workload as I don't get actual days off;  and there's caregiving which never takes a break. These combined today and I just felt overwhelmed. So I ran to my favorite psalm for these types of days, Psalm 61. If I could loosely combine the New Living Translation and the Message's to form my own interpretation just for today it might read something like this:

Oh God! Listen to my cry and my prayer!
I am crying to you because my heart, mind and emotions 
are overwhelmed in this moment.
I am down to my last gasp of air -
but with it I cry out to You:
Lead me to the rock....

You alone are my safe place
You are my fortress
You have given me a lifetime pass to Your safe-house
You have offered me an open invitation to be Your guest.
You take me seriously, and welcome me 
as one who knows You and loves You...

So in this moment where I feel so fragile, I remind myself to run to Him. That's the finish line I am looking for today. This finish line ends with me calling it quits to my own way of dealing with emotions and the craziness of the day - and has me end up in His arms, in His safe house, where I am always welcome and have that lifetime pass. That's the finish line I'm looking for at the end of the day.

Today I'm going to try to calm my mind and heart down enough to hear Him breathe. I'm going to make it my goal to run to Him - and cross that finish line - the one that leads me to crawl up in His lap and allow Him to keep my soul safe. I'm going to run to Him  and not  away from Him today. And I'm going to listen for His heartbeat. I'll give Him all my anxiety and frustration and be thankful He is still with me - and waiting for me. Will you join me?

Comments

  1. That is a great Psalm Jeanie . Is wish I could get back to a place where my default position was to meditate on His word day and night. When my heart is overwhelmed many time I get angry, bitter , depressed you name it. Today we have family in for Thanksgiving and I am feeling pretty good for the moment. Its when we are alone is when its so hard to hear His voice. I know its not God its me. Holy Spirit bring to remembrance this wonderful word
    When my heart is overwhelmed;
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
    Thanks for the good word Jeanie

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally get what you are saying. I'm not saying I'm there yet either - where me default is reset... I still have long periods of time when I feel I'm shaking my fist at God and asking a ton of questions.....I still fluctuate back and forth between "God, I trust You" and "Is this what You think of me and my son?" It's certainly a process with one day being better than another.

    I pray Holy Spirit brings scriptures to mind when your heart is overwhelmed...and I hope you have a wonderful time with family today.

    Thanks for reading.
    Jeanie

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

But I Have Today

Do you ever have days that are just heavier than others? Of course, you do - who am I talking to? Saturday was Chris' 37th birthday. For some reason, it was unusually hard as I thought of where all his friends are today. You know, married, having kids, and enjoying their careers. I cried more than once that day. I grieved over what should have been, what could have been.  I hugged him a little tighter and thought about the progress he's made recently. The other night, I am certain he "sang" to me after I got him in bed. It was the sweetest thing and I posted it in his Facebook group where I share things I don't feel I can share as "publicly." He's moving more and initiating more of his movement on his own. There are many things to rejoice about. At the same time, I am getting older. My joints hurt and I wonder how much longer I can take care of him. I fear the day that I won't be able to. This is the way the rest of my life looks, and I am okay w

Living Grief

 As caregivers, many of us deal with daily grief and a constant sense of loss. Even though we don't feel these emotions all of the time, they do keep coming back. For me, mine is often sparked by seeing something on my Facebook feed. I'll see one of Chris' friends or a memory and it'll tip my emotional bucket right over. Living grief is one of those things the church doesn't know how to deal with. Well, honestly, who really knows how to deal with it? It's not just going to go away, now is it? :-) In some hyper-faith circles, grief is pretty much forbidden. Yet even under the old law, it was allowed room. If you lost a close loved one such as a spouse, parent, or sibling, you were given an entire year to mourn. Our culture allows a little time, but then we are expected to be back at work, back at church, or back to our daily lives after a very short time. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other. But living grief continues. When we deal with parents wh

The Best Meeting

  I know I've written quite a few times about Hagar, but her story intrigues me. I think I can relate to the rejection and loneliness she must have felt. In numerous devotions, I've talked about how God met her right where she was. She did have God "find" her twice. But there are other people in the scriptures that God met too. The list is a bit longer when we start thinking about how many times God met someone along the way. Twice He came and ministered to Hagar, He met Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), He met Balaam and stopped him before he sinned against God (Numbers 22). Jesus went through Samaria on purpose  to speak with the woman at the well. He crossed two taboos in their time - going through Samaria and speaking to a woman! (John 4) He walked out to the disciples in a storm in Matthew 8. And the Angel of God came to Gideon when he was hiding from the Midianites in Judges 6. It's easy for today's religious thinkers to label these Bible characters