Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Would it Take?

My Facebook friend, Julia, answered a question about me the other day which really got me thinking.
The question was, "What would it take for Karen Hossink to run a full marathon?" And Julia responded by saying, "Well I know of one way...if Jesus were standing at the finish line!"
At first I laughed.
Me? Run a full marathon???

Not likely!!!

First of all, my knee is bad. It hurts when I run.
Second, a full marathon is 26.2 miles. That's a lot of running. I do not have the endurance to go that long.
And finally, when I add the above two objections together, and consider my weak flesh, I just know I would not be able to run a full marathon.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized, I'm running that marathon right now. Every day of my life is another step in the marathon.
Oh, how many times I want to quit running! Because my heart hurts. Because the pain of real relationships can seem too much for me to handle. Because I can't take the sting of one more disappointment.
And, wow! How this marathon wears me out. I'm tired of unanswered questions. The endless list of needs and demands in front of me floods me with weariness. When I think of how far I have yet to run, it seems every ounce of energy is drained from my spirit.
And when I look at my condition, I get overwhelmed and believe I cannot go on.
BUT - and you know how I love a big BUT! - when I look ahead to the finish line, when I remember Who is there waiting for me, I am determined to keep on running.
And so, I will run. Without concern for my appearance. Not caring what my finish time will be. Unconcerned about who passes me, or by whom I run. Only fixing my eyes on Jesus - the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

What would it take for you to run a full marathon? Jesus is at the finish line.
Grab your running shoes. Let's run this race together!



luvmy4sons said...

Oh sister! Yes...I am in a marathon now. In more ways than one. Every day I tell myself that I must keep on keeping on. Amen to this post! Jesus! Who could not but keep on running when He is there waiting! Hugs sweet sister!

Irritable Mother said...

Leslie - Picturing Him standing there - arms wide open - makes such a difference, doesn't it?
Hugs to you, too! *grin*

Leah said...

He is there cheering us on!! It does make a huge difference to remember that 'for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross". That means we, too, have a joy set before us. So endure and run that marathon!!


On Purpose said...

Running with you on purpose!

O Mom said...

I feel like these are my words.(the pain of real relationships, unanswered questions, drained spirit). BUT my love for Him and the hope I have of seeing Him at the end of this long race is enough. THANK YOU for this needed reminder this morning.

Jessica said...

Awesome post! My pastor always says we need to stay on the right side of the 'but'. *grin*
Instead of saying God is good but my life is horrible,
We should say This hurts but God is my strength. :-)

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - And sometimes He brings people along side us to help us see clearly how to run better. Amen?
Thanks again, for sharing your struggle and testifying to God's power to run with us through this marathon.

Nichole - It's good to have friends running with us - you know, so we can hand one another a towel or a drink of water when necessary. I'm glad you're here!

O Mom - Yes. That big BUT is a very good thing. *grin*

Irritable Mother said...

Jessica - I agree with your pastor. Perspective is such a helpful thing!

Patricia/NYC said...

Yesterday, I was "running amok"!! lol!! Today, I am running with PURPOSE!! Thanks for your encouraging comment yesterday, Karen!! Yes, it was time to re-focus & picture Jesus at the end of that finish line!!

Hugs, my friend!!

Angie Muresan said...

What a thought, Karen! I find myself all too often caring what people think, and as a result get sidetracked. I wish I could always focus my eyes on the finish line.

Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - You're welcome. It's good to have running buddies, ya know?

Angie - Yes. I care too much what other people think as well. I need to continually train my eyes to stay on Jesus. Thankfully, He is gracious and sometimes grabs hold of my chin and turns my gaze back Himself.

Winging It said...

Oh, Lordy! Help us to finish, Lord! Help us to keep our eyes ON YOU!!! Be our second, third, fourth wind!Now THAT'S a race I wanna run and wanna run to WIN!!! In Christ!

Very inspiring, Karen, thank you!

LisaShaw said...

Needed this right this moment...thank you for sharing.

I pray a blessed Christmas and New Year for you and your family Karen. Thank you for being a precious part of my year this year.

LauraLee Shaw said...

What a compliment that person gave you. She saw you running the race for Jesus even before you did! Yes, I'm right beside you on it, though I'm sure we have hurdles at different times in our own lanes. Thank you for giving me a picture when the going gets tough!

IN Christ,

Irritable Mother said...

Maria - Your comment reminds me of a song we sing at church, the part that says, "Be the wind in my sails."
Yes. He calls us forward and helps us move along. He is everything!

Lisa - God's timing is perfect. Amen?
I am thankful that you have been a part of my year, too. God has been good to us.

LauraLee - Yes. I was blessed by what Julia saw, too. Felt like she gave me a gift.
And now you have a picture for when the going gets tough...The gift that keeps on giving. *grin*

Amanda said...

Well...of course when I read this I said, "What would it take for Amanda Rettke to run a marathon?"

There is a LONG answer there.

And a short one!! :) (jesus)

I was blessed by this!

Irritable Mother said...

Amanda - Let's stick with the short answer. Life is too complicated without Him.

Mari said...

I'm like you with the bad knee, plus a few pounds! A marathon will never happen. But what a great thought, to think of Christ waiting at the finish line, cheering us on!

Irritable Mother said...

Mari - I was on the treadmill a couple days ago, and my knee DIDN'T hurt. Some might think that was a good thing, but if my knee doesn't hurt, then I really have no excuse to not run. *sigh*
Will keep this picture of Jesus at the finish line in my head!

mommyshaw3 said...

Karen ~ so glad that my question and answer inspired you the way it did. I could just picture you running your little heart out to get to the finish line where Jesus was waiting for you (and cheering you on every step of the way)! It is really amazing how you can take the simplest thought and turn it into something so profound and inspirational . . . you truly have a gift . . .and I, for one, and very grateful for that ~ and grateful for you!! GOD BLESS YOU!
~ Julia

Irritable Mother said...

Julia - Thank you. God really did bless me with your question and answer, and I am so glad you shared it with me. It's an image I am holding onto!