Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Plan and a Purpose

I went to the track last night. It was my first time back on the track since my marathon training a couple of years ago. I've run since then. I just haven't been on any sort of training plan. But I registered for a race, picked a plan, and figured I'd better mix things up rather than just run 3 miles here or 10 miles there.

I had a plan. I went out. And in true ShelbyDee form, I went out overeager. I started on a turn, and I love turns. The way I feel when I round the peak, like I'm being propelled forward. Straights are not my strength. My first lap was way faster than I meant for it to be. I got caught up in the moment. And I wasn't sure I could maintain it for the rest of the workout.

The next two laps I slowed considerably. I knew I needed to change something or I'd keep slowing down with each lap. I wanted to keep my laps as close to the first pace as I could. So I began to visualize. I gave myself a pep talk. I tried to remember a race where I had a plan and succeeded in carrying it out. It worked. My lap time dropped back to the same time as my first lap. And I carried that pace through the final lap as well.
The sunset after my run

This week as a pile of clothes I need to pack grows and as I run errands all over town gathering items to bring with me, filling prescriptions and trying to remember when to take which medication, this week has been flying by. Any moment I'll be shooting out of the turn and on my way to Guatemala. And I'm not sure I'm ready yet. How can I possibly know if I am ready? I don't want to head into this overeager and have my energy fade out before this journey even begins. And so like my workout I am evaluating where I am at, personally, emotionally, spiritually.

I've been reading  Unfinished by Richard Stearns (the president of World Vision). In it he writes, "Authors do not create characters with no purpose and no role to play." What a true statement. I edit books and this has never really occurred to me. And too often that is how I've felt in my life. Like a bystander. An onlooker with no role. Have you ever felt that way?

The thing is, if I believe in God and I believe he created me for a purpose, then I must believe he has a plan, a specific part for me to play.

The truth is he does have a plan and the plot has not yet been resolved. I may not see what's coming up around the next turn. I might be on a long straightaway with no turn in sight and feeling like I'm trudging along. I may not feel adequate for this task ahead of me. I may doubt my ability to keep up the pace set for me. But I believe in God's purpose.

This journey to Guatemala is one he is sending me on. And I am ready to play the role he has given me. He has a plan and I trust he will succeed in carrying it out.

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