…encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:14
Our new house is a stone’s throw away from 18 miles of walking trails in a national park. Ollie-the-Beagle and I go walking several mornings a week, sometimes with my daughter Stephanie, sometimes with The Husband but occasionally it’s just me and the pup.
Last week as we set out in the glow of first light under a lush leafy canopy, about twenty-five highschool aged runners passed us. They were in groups. There were the fast runners, only two of them, who sprinted past us in a flash. Next came groups of four to six runners at a time keeping cadence, gravel crunching under their Nike’s.
Oh to be young and strong, I said outloud to Oliver who whined a little as he watched the last of the boys round a curve out of sight.
A few minutes later, I was surprised to see the lead runners still sprinting, pass me on their way back to the start of the trail! Wow! Those guys are the real deal. They don’t even look tired.
Ollie and I walked on, him stopping to mark a spot here and there and me, pausing to take a picture with my phone.
Just as I snapped the picture, I heard crunching gravel from behind me and crunching gravel coming toward me, I looked in one direction and then the other. Behind me, the two lead runners were coming back up the trail. They had obviously finished their run because now they were jogging at an almost relaxed pace. In front of me four boys were approaching looking a bit tired, no longer running synchronized , their gait was sloppy and they looked worn out. The lead runners passed me, approached the other runners and I heard one of them say: “keep going, you’re almost there, you’re making great time”
I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
I love it when strong people are more full of grace than ego.
For the rest of our walk I thought of all the people in my life who in the strength that God gave them, sprint ahead of me only to circle back and encourage me to finish strong.
The Husband who is the perfect mix of wisdom and mercy.
My dad who has forever sent me notes in the mail full of encouragement and scripture, always coming on just the right day.
My friend Julie who pours grace over all the ungrace in my life.
My Aunt Gail who lets me unload when I need to and never misses a chance to show me love in action.
My sister Deb who can understand certain things simply because we are sisters.
I pray I’ll be faithful when it’s time for me to circle back and encourage someone…
Are there people you can think of who have cheered you on when you were tired?
Have you done that for others?
~Sending love my friends~