When I was first single I was intrigued by a race in San Francisco. At the finish line of the Nike Women’s half-marathon you are greeted by firemen in a tuxedos holding Tiffany & Co boxes with your winners necklace. What?! Awesome!! I am not sure it still works the exact same way, but the idea captivated me and each year I consider running. This year is my year. I am signed up and I am committed. I started training figuring I could eventually make the end of the race. And then last month I learned a terrible phrase…
“You must BEAT THE SWEEP”
If you run you know what this means. Basically if you are too slow they come and pick you up in a van and drive you to the end!!!!
Noooooooo. I do not want to do all this training and then miss out on the prize. It was more than I could bear, so beefed up my training and today was my last long run before the race. There are so many spiritual parallels to all this training and preserving and ways God is working through this and I am sure I will share more. But for today, I am focusing on the sweep.
It is a funny thing to focus on failing. Failing in this case being picked up and unable to finish. I have geared my training based on the sweep time. It has given me motivation to get out there and run and cross train. But it has kept me looking backward too. I keep saying I think I will make it. A friend texted this week, “There is no think. You are going to make it”. Suddenly I was looking forward. I am going to run 13.1 miles. I have trained. I have prepared. So much of life can be like that. Moving forward for fear of what may happen if we stop and we forget to look forward with anticipation for what God has for the future.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11
And guess what I learned today….if you get picked up by the sweep they take you right to the finish and you still get your award! In life when my mind is set right on God, when I am truly relying on the Lord, sometime he gives me strength to persevere and sometimes, he picks me up and carries me to the end.