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Poor in Miles (But Rich in Grace)

February 9, 2012
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Subtitled, “Missing the Boss.”

This was not the post I had slated for today. I actually have two posts in the pipeline that I need to publish. One needs to be finished and published soon, since it’s a Miami Half-related post. But life intervened, and this is what’s on my mind today instead.

 

The Boss flew out to California on business Monday at midday. He took a circuitous route, flying from our nearest airport in southeastern Florida to Detroit, then to Salt Lake, then, finally, to LAX, which meant that after working for half a day Monday, he didn’t get to his destination until 4:30am, our time. I hated it for him, since part of the manifestation of his multiple sclerosis is a fatigue that sets in easily. I prayed he’d be able to sleep on the plane.

I also worried a bit about my own schedule, of course. I’m accustomed to running in the early mornings, before the kids wake up, and that wasn’t an option with the Boss out of town. But there was only one run that I’d have to scramble for, really: I ran on Monday before he left, and I usually take Tuesdays off. I had a 5-miler to cover Wednesday, but have a pretty flexible schedule for Thursday, and he’ll be back Friday mid-morning, so I can run at some time during the day then, and then do my long run as usual on Saturday.

I knew that yesterday’s run, therefore, would be the tough one. I thought about putting it in on the treadmill before I got the kids up, but decided against that option based on our first morning by ourselves. I knew that trying to fit in a run, plus a shower, and then trying to get both kids fed, dressed, and out the door, would be more stressful than absolutely necessary, especially since I also have to be dressed and ready for my own ministry responsibilities on Wednesday. A five-mile run just wasn’t worth a difficult morning. I decided, instead, to put in the run when I got home from my Bible study later that day. I figured I’d be home close to 12, so even if I ran for an hour, I’d have time to shower and go get the kids.

And then life intervened.

Sitting in a pew, listening to teaching on 1 Corinthians, I decided to glance at my phone, for no particular reason. Sitting there, innocently, quietly, was a text from the Boy’s teacher, saying he seemed to be suffering from some sort of stomach bug. He didn’t want me to come get him yet–but since my Wednesday morning study is forty minutes north of our school district, I decided to slip out and start the drive south.

When I got home I hadn’t gotten a phone call to come get the Boy yet, so I slipped into running clothes and started my 5-miler. By the time the final “Yes, come get him,” text came in, I had put in a very choppy two of the five miles I was supposed to get in.

Now, when the Boss got on that plane Monday, I figured if I didn’t get a good run in Wednesday I could always put in another few miles in on Thursday, while the kids were at school. Alas, the Boy has not been symptom-free for 24 hours, so he has to stay home from school today . . . ergo, no run. Seems this week is going to be short on miles. I have an 18-miler staring at me from my training schedule for Saturday, and of course the A1A Half on February 19th, and the Gasparilla races on the 3rd and 4th of March.

In spite of all the miles I’ve missed, or will miss, this week, my primary focus as an athlete is to run the race in front of me, and this is week it was about being the wife and mother I needed to be while the Boss took care of his responsibilities on the west coast. Running will take care of itself . . . or it won’t. I am overwhelmingly thankful that my only concern, when I got the call that my little guy was sick, was how stinky I was from a run when I had to come get him. I didn’t have to scramble for someone to cover my work shift, or get transportation, or worry about insurance if he needed medication. I even got a phone call from Little G at just the right time, and she went to the store and got bananas, applesauce, and ginger ale for us so the Boy could eat good old BRAT-diet-approved foods for the rest of the day. God’s provision for me, again, is more than enough for all my needs, and has kept me from relying on myself. Whether or not A1A and Gasparilla turn out well will not, ultimately, be about my training and execution, but wholly about His provision, my reliance on Him, and enjoying my sport as the gift that it is.

Today, the Boy is doing very well, and the bug seems out of his system, though we’re still having mostly bland foods. We’re doing some very simple academic things in small bites to make up for the lost school day, but otherwise having a very low-key day. I’m thankful the bug seems to have been short-lived, and that the Boss lands in Miami International in about twenty hours (but who’s counting?).

I’m thankful for this reminder that running is just running, and that my role as an athlete ranks well below my role as a mother, a wife, and a servant in the Kingdom. Praying, for all of us, that we keep our roles well defined–and well prioritized. Sometimes I get things mixed up, and I’m thankful when God reorganizes things for me. He is good to me, all the time.

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