Does anyone remember the morning of the Superbowl 2018? More specifically, does anyone remember the weather in Charlotte, NC that morning?
I do. It was 32 degrees and raining. I had signed up with my daughter to run a race that morning, but she had an out-of-town wedding that weekend and bailed. I planned to run it without her until I heard the rain… I felt so warm and snuggled in my bed listening to the raindrops on my roof. It was just a four-mile race. Perhaps I would miss it too. I snuggled deeper into my covers.
“Are you running this morning?” my husband asked from his pocket of the blankets.
Then those words. Those painful, guilt-producing words that he uttered. “Then you can’t wear the T-shirt.”
And that was all it took. I rolled out of bed, donned the warmest running clothes I had, gathered all the raingear I could find including my Gore-Tex raincoat and headed for the race. Rain poured for my entire drive to the stadium escalating my dread for this event even more.
Once under the cover of the parking deck, I wrapped myself in as much rain gear as I’d brought, stomped away from the shelter of my car, and prayed for God’s protection. I joined all the other plastic-wrapped runners in raincoats, ponchos, and even garbage bags. I truly was amazed at how many others showed up to run in this mess. Had they all considered staying in bed as I had? We clung to the protection of the stadium awning until the announcer beckoned us to the starting line with only a few minutes to spare. The shot fired and we were off.
I tightened my hood around my head, sloshed through puddles, and tried not to freeze. I may or may not have uttered a few not-so-happy words under my breath directed to the cold and rain, my least favorite running partners. But, I wasn’t alone, and we were all experiencing the same elements. Soon, I warmed up and enjoyed the camaraderie gained in shared misery. We even shouted thanks to the police officers who stood in the freezing rain, stopping traffic and assuring our safety, probably also longing for the warmth of their dry beds.
As I tired of my wet squishy socks and of rain beating me in the face, I was needing to see the end. I must have looked haggard because as I approached the final stretch, a speedster trotted up beside me, “You’ve got this,” he said as he flew on past. That was the encouragement I needed to plow across the finish line. I grabbed my finishers medal, hydration and snack and appreciated the announcement that due to the inclement weather, there would be no awards ceremony. They would mail the awards to the winners.
I bolted to my car fantasizing about a hot shower and dry clothes, specifically the new T-shirt I could now officially wear. I was absolutely thrilled later that week when I received a nice gift card in the mail, denoting my winning first place in my age group! I realized then and there that I wouldn’t have won if I’d have stayed in bed. We gotta show up.
So, what is your race? What is your ambition, your goal? What is God calling you to in the realm of impossibilities?
Are you jumping in with all your rain gear ready to face the elements? Are you pressing forward with the grace of God and confidence in His protection? Are you running at full speed so that there is no turning back? Or are you staying in the safety of your own warm bed?
What might be holding you back? Is it a situation you know nothing about? Is it scary? Does it seem too crazy? Too hard? Too rainy? Take courage in God’s protection and guidance.
I recently bought a framed picture that reads: The will of God will not take you where the grace of God will not protect you. Isn’t that awesome? Take courage my friends in God’s direction for your life. He is Master of the impossible. Let Him place within your heart a dream so big that He must be included for you to succeed. It’s never quite as rewarding to accomplish that which you know you can accomplish as it is in trusting God to help you through the impossible.
But, you gotta show up. Whatever God places on your heart, commit to do it and show up for the race so you can wear your T-shirt with pride my friends. Echoing the words of the speedster, “You’ve got this!”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26