Yesterday, the Princess of the Realm began a 190+ mile relay marathon called Ragnar. Yesterday she began the race in Melbourne Florida, and will end it on South Beach in the Miami-Dade County tonight/tomorrow early morning. November 2017 seems to be made for marathons.Marathons have been around for eons. I just didn’t notice the races, walks, and full on marathons around me. I’d hear about them and think. “That’s nice.” then, go about my day as if nothing changed. Until, I was challenged to write a novel in a month. Now I see people striving to reach their own personal best all around me. My eyes are opened to all kinds of marathons. Right now I am in a marathon of words.
I have friends preparing for marathons all around me. Some are preparing or running in actual marathons. I have a few friends recovering from injuries and illness. This is a type of marathon I know well. I didn’t realize this was a marathon. But, pain, sickness and fatigue require a certain amount of stamina to push through it. I have so much admiration for those who handle this marathon with grace and dignity. Lord knows I have not always. I have crumbled under the weight of this marathon. Only by the grace of God did I pick up this cross and continue.
Do you have a marathon in your life? Maybe like me you don’t know it. The Apostle Paul writes about his life and ministry in 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV):
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith.”
What is our race? Maybe like my Priest you faithfully lead a congregation closer to Christ. Maybe like my Moms, you have been gifted with the desire to teach and bring others closer to God. Maybe your drive is to build something great. I grew up with a construction background. Building something physically, financially, or politically is a marathon too. Or maybe like my father you are struggling with aging and accepting his end of life decisions.
In my curiosity this morning I found, Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV):
1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2: fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Note: the author of Hebrews is unknown at this time.
All of this musings forced me to realize my personal marathons. Regaining my health. Managing the chronic pain. Honoring my father. I see these as “fighting the good fight.” Striving to use the power of the pen to uplift and encourage. I want to get the stories out of my head and on the page. I see these as running the race marked out for me. What do we as marathoner in life need to run the race? Hebrews says:
- Perseverance – Don’t give up on your dreams, goals,
- Fixing our eyes on Jesus – I call this following my Star,
- Endurance – Isn’t that what carrying our cross is all about?,
- Scorning its shame – Don’t let it git ya down!, and;
- Accepting the reward with grace and humility!
It’s a formula! I had never seen it before. Yesterday I started back on Prankster. My starting point: 8,871 words. I was behind on the daily goals. I’m running in the back of the pack. Determined I carved out four, one hour, writing sessions. I wrote the most words I’ve written in one day: 2,159 words. It took four hours. In the middle of hour three’s session, the pain in my shoulders demanded I stop. The more I struggled through it, the pain just increased in intensity.
I got up. Thinking I would have to quit for the day. I moved around, stretched my shoulders. Got some chores done. Then sat down and finished the hour. I didn’t even realize it, I employed perseverance and endurance. After hour four, I was able to sit back and enjoy my reward: Satisfaction and the knowledge I can do 2,000+ words in one day. It’s not easy. It’s not perfect. I’m still in the race!
Where am I today? Started with my Catholic Mass and the Rosary; today’s blog post written (7826 words), Wednesday’s blog post idea (29 words), and wrote for 30 minutes in Prankster (312 more words). So far…
By the way, I am very proud of my Princess. She has honed herself into an athlete. She regularly participates in marathons and races for charity, encouragement of others, and her own development. Princess mine, keep running towards your dreams. I am amazed and proud of you. Most of all I love you.
Race well my friends.