A while ago, I decided that I could not run. I was not told this by a doctor, but I just "knew" I couldn't. Unless someone was chasing me (with a weapon of some sort) and I was forced to pick up the pace, THIS girl was having none of that.
Then something changed. I wanted to run. For some ridiculous reason, it was something I wanted to do - albeit halfheartedly, at first. Most of you have read how that changed me - how doing something I myself said I could not do opened me up to a whole new world. I loved running. I became A Runner. And I ran a 5K. Key word "ran", because I told myself I would walk part of it. You know when you read a scripture, and then it comes to life for you? I love that. God showed me that yes I could do all things through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.
Today it was a balmy 65 degrees - and yours truly happened to have the day off. After finishing an errand with a friend, I thought it might be a good day to go for a run. Especially since I was finally feeling human again after that nasty stomach virus. I craved it.
So I laced 'em up and headed out. Then I forgot something so I came back inside, and that little nagging voice (which sounds a lot like mine, cuz it is) told me to just stay home. I was tired, I injured my rib from all of my retching from previously referenced stomach bug, and I probably couldn't do it anyway.
So I ignored myself and went out because I was not happy with what the scale was telling me lately, and this was one way to deal with THAT. Halfway through my run, I wanted to quit. Side stitches, rib pain, boredom, you name it. I started talking to myself telling myself "Don't quit" out loud. I decided to walk for 5 minutes because I felt I had reached my limit. Any runners out there? After the Couch to 5K training is over, I am sure you can relate to how hard it is to stop and then START running again. Motivation is kind of on the low side once you realize walking doesn't take as much effort.
Well, neither does eating a Twinkie, and look where that got me.
My limit? I wasn't even close. I knew it, and I started running again, because when I am mad at myself it's kind of motivating. So I averaged a 13-minute mile which is A-OK with me, and my glass of low fat chocolate milk was better than any damn Twinkie I ever tasted. I was still feeling all sorry for myself for not being able to run straight through, but hey, I know my limits. Or do I?
I had to pick my son up from tennis tonight. The team was huddled around the coach and I noticed that there was one boy in a wheelchair. The real sporty kind that you see athletes on TV use. And he had a tennis racket and was wearing a team shirt. His legs were pencil-thin. After the huddle broke up and everyone started to scatter, I watched this boy skillfully wheel his chair around the court out onto the grass, and crawl out of it and move his way across the grass to put his leg braces on.
And right then, God spoke to me. I think we have already established that no, I do not hear voices. He spoke to my heart.
"What are your limits now?"
It was just a feeling, like a slight whisper across my heart and it touched my soul and made my eyes well up with tears. "I'm so sorry" was what I whispered back. Sorry for taking my health for granted again, sorry for not realizing I am blessed with a healthy (and yes, overweight, but basically healthy) body. No, I do not feel better about myself by seeing someone in a wheelchair and no, it does not mean that it's OK for me to be overweight and thankful just because I am not physically challenged. The real awakening came when my son got into the car, and I asked him about the boy in the wheelchair, and he explained how he has "massive" upper body strength and how he is allowed two bounces on the courts, and what a great athlete he is (#1 wheelchair basketball player as well) - so he looks up to see me with tears in my eyes and he says "Don't feel sorry for him Mom, he is really good."
Hmmmm. So maybe I shouldn't feel sorry for myself either, huh? Because here was a child who overcame much. much bigger limitations than anything I have ever had to deal with. And I had such incredible respect for this child, and his parents who obviously didn't let him fall prey to the "limits" that others might have placed on him.
My limits seem much more trivial now. As a matter of fact, I see a half-marathon on my horizon.
|I won't lie and say the bling doesn't matter...|
Joyce Meyer says "You can be pitiful, or you can be powerful, but you can't be both”
What limits do you place on yourself? And I am talking about the ones you self-diagnose. Maybe you DO have limits, but take a moment to step back and ask yourself if you are using what God gave you to the best of your ability. I can't say that I am. Because at 50 pounds overweight (and holding!) I've been "pitiful" not "powerful". And that's gotta change.
Here's hoping that our "limits" will always be JUST out of our reach.