When I signed up to run the half-marathon today, I didn’t plan on temperatures plunging into the 20’s. I also didn’t plan for snow. I thought of last year’s running shorts and the sun-kissed view of the lake and I emailed race officials my entry. I then spent eight weeks, many hours, and my extremely limited supply of energy training for a race I might not run. I’d love to sound all poetic and profound here, but let’s be real.
Especially when you work hard to stay on your current path, keeping the finish line of your journey firmly within sight, and without warning something causes you to pull up short as the path falls away beneath your feet. A change in weather patterns rates fairly low on suckable situations, but job loss doesn’t. Illness brings us right low. As does a wayward child, an unfaithful spouse, a bad decision, or a lost friendship.
It refines and reshapes us into something new, but only if we allow it. Change can teach us love or hate, judgement or grace. It leads us to self-pity or it leads us to prayer. It can file down our sharpest edges and rub us raw until a tenderness of the soul appears.
Some change removes us from the wrong path and places us on the right one. The broken engagement that saved us from a more broken marriage, the loss of a job we hate leading to the discovery of a career we love, the unexpected pregnancy with its equally unexpected joys.
I’d like to say our response to change is a matter of perspective, but I don’t think we can always”perspective” our way into a new journey, especially if the change is life-altering. I think then, it becomes a matter of faith. Do we have the faith to see ourselves coming through to the other side, walking a new path, succeeding on a different journey? We might only see as far as the next step, but faith helps us to take the first one, then another, and a few more until the path rises to meet us.
May the path rise to meet you today.
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PS After much debate and a full twenty minutes of staring out the glass doors willing the weather to change, I decided to run the race today. My husband and kids stood pink-nosed in the snow, shaking mini-maracas, and cheering me on. They are all kinds of awesome and deserve finisher medals of their own.