Was that the end of my running forever? No. That was a symbol of how far I had come...had trained...of how much fear I had overcome to get there.
I've been running since. It still feels great. But here's the thing...my finish line keeps moving every time I run. There's not gonna be an end (well, eventually, when I'm too old I will most likely just be running at the mouth, haha)
As most of you know, I was in a contest to win a trip to take a health & fitness getaway. I wanted that so bad. The end of the contest was another "finish line" and I was counting down the days.
Some things happened on the way to that finish line that really tested me in so many ways. Being from New York, I usually have no trouble speaking my mind. I'll tell it like it is most times (one of my BFF's was mortified when I told a woman on the plane to turn off her cellphone please, just like the Captain announced) Anyway, during this contest, I remained silent while suddenly I was hit with a barrage of untruths while I captured first place. For some reason, people thought any mean thing said was attributed to me, just because I was "winning." I was taught that in times like this "silence is golden" so I said nothing, and went about participating in the contest in a fair way, trying to connect and get votes so I could win.
The trouble with being quiet is that by not saying anything, people can speak for you. And speak they did. With the exception of one short message to explain what was on my heart, I remained quiet. Because the words 'Be still and know that I am God' were on my heart, so my heart (and my mouth) obeyed.
But the fallout that ensued was horrendous, and took a tremendous toll on my sanity this past week. Another contestant was also insulted, and we became fast friends. And then THAT created more drama. I just felt like everywhere I turned, I couldn't catch a break. It escalated to the point that people were attacking my religious beliefs, my character, and claiming they were going to "come and find me" - completely and utterly misguided in their thoughts and not knowing the truth, that I had remained steadfast in my silence because I did not want to add fuel to the fire that was burning. I had done nothing wrong, but no one wanted to see that. I pray that in their hearts they will be spoken to and realize that life is too short to waste on trying to bring another person down. That's a whole other story.
It is obvious that I should have won, according to the rules. The finish line has come and gone, but I still don't know if I really did "win."
Cue the epiphany.
I do not need to wait to cross a finish line to be "done" - much like I did not stop running after my 5K. Here I was, waiting for this finish line to come so I could start my journey to a better me. Starting at a finish line is kind of a bad idea, right? Why was I waiting for tomorrow? One of my favorite songs by Mandisa describes it perfectly:
Can't spend my whole life wastin'
Everything I know I've been given
'Cause you've made me for so much more than
Sittin' on the side lines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If good enough could've been better
Everyday's a day to start over
So, why am I waiting for tomorrow
I came home from work tonight to find my husband and son making dinner (tacos!) and all of the laundry done. I realized that I had been neglecting the things most important to me while paying attention to what I THOUGHT was most important to me - getting this chance to "fix" myself. Don't get me wrong, I need to fix myself for sure. And I love that I have a husband that will do these things, but it made me feel bad that I had not been "mindful" of anything but this contest this past week. Ugh. I'm a busy gal, and my time is precious, and I will choose to spend it on things that are precious to me. That includes me (-:
Well, friends, although I have very little in common with THIS guy
I am going to get right on that. I am making a schedule to make dates to run, to walk, to go to the gym. It's time to stay away from the computer and really get down to business (with a few time outs to check if I won, haha). As for the naysayers who are still attempting to slander me and say mean things? Well, I can tell you that we all serve the same loving God, and I for one want to be an example of that in how I conduct myself. I know someday I will have to account for everything I said & did. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." I remarked to a few friends that I have prayed a lot more this week than ever. That's a good outcome. I had so many people rooting for me - some actually surprised me with their support! You all touched my heart and made me feel so BLESSED. I have made an amazing, lifelong friend in Sarah, which would never have happened if not for this contest. So all is not lost. As a matter of fact, it's starting to be found.
When the REAL Finish Line of life comes, I want to say I did all that I could to honor the gift of life I was given. But until then? I'll just