I think there are three kinds of people in this world… the sprinters, the long-distance runners, and those who avoid running at all costs. (No judgment here, just an observation.)
Which person are you? A sprinter? Long distance? Avoid running at all costs?
Back in high school I involved myself in every sport our school offered us girls. We were a small Iowa 1A school, so we were invited to participate in every sport. Volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter, track in the spring, and softball in the summer. I loved playing sports, and I guess you could say I was a real-life tomboy. I’d much rather pitch a softball to the black electrical tape square on our wooden garage door than play with makeup. After all, my three brothers were my role models. I did (or tried to do) what they did. Their pesky sister just wanted to be like them. So, sports became my thing.
I was a hitter in volleyball, a forward in 6-on-6 basketball, a sprinter and hurdler in track, and a pitcher in softball. One season stands out to me especially today… track season. It wasn’t my favorite sport, but running the Shuttle Hurdle Relay was my favorite in track. I also ran the 4 x 100 and the 4 x 200 meter relays. I was a sprinter, and for the life of me I couldn’t handle the long distance races. No thank you. My friend was amazing at running long distance, but me? I just couldn’t do it. My nephews are incredible long distance runners. But, they certainly didn’t get that from their aunt. Maybe I was a sprinter because I liked to go fast and be done as quickly as possible. Who wants to drag this thing out, anyway?
I’m realizing today this part of me, this sprinter mentality, has impacted my entire life.
The sprinter in me still wants to go fast. To be on the go. To get things done in a timely and accurate manner. Wasting time bugs the bejeebies out of me. (Bejeebies?? Yes, bejeebies.) To get things done and move on to the next thing on the list. Keep things moving. I have places to go and people to see, by golly. Yep, I’m still a sprinter at heart, even though I don’t run that way much anymore.
Maybe like you, God is teaching me much through this pandemic and in this time of self-isolation and social distancing. One thing I’m learning is I have no other choice than to embrace this run that’s before me. This long-distance, longer than a marathon, run. Oh, I want it to be a sprint, but that’s not reality. I want this virus to end soon, but that might not happen in our timing. I’m ready to get on the other side of this, to cross the finish line of this pandemic race. Again, who wants to drag this thing out, anyway?
This pandemic is more long-distance than a sprint.
Yes, unfortunately, this is likely going to take awhile. At least that’s what the experts say. I’m assuming we all want this to end as quickly as possible and to put it all behind us. Even those of us who are the long-distance runners and those who avoid running at all costs. It’s not just the sprinters here. It’s all of us. We all want it to end. But, do you suppose the long-distance people have more patience with this than the sprinters? Or those who choose not to run at all? I wonder.
No matter, we have the choice to run this race with endurance. I like how the VOICE translation encourages us through Hebrews 12:1 and the additional note:
So since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses, let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.Hebrews 12:1 VOICE
[We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn.]
It’s one step at a time
Not only the long race of this pandemic, but the long-distance race of this life. One step at a time, one mile at a time. And, before we know it, we’ll rejoice in crossing the finish line. In the meantime, we keep on keeping on.
So, what are you… a sprinter, a long-distance runner, or do you avoid running at all costs? No matter what your running style is, it’s okay. We’re all in this together. Helping each other along. Doing what we can to make a difference in these days. Doing our part to bring a smile, a bag of groceries, a word of encouragement. Or helping by staying home, caring for our patients, or working at our jobs to keep things going. You and I are called to finish this race strong.
Just a warning, however, this sprinter might need a little extra patience and grace if I try to race ahead on the track every now and then. Please bring me gently back into the pack as we finish this together.
Thanks for being here friend. You are a blessing!
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