Before I start my ramblings I just wanted to say that if you are not from Suffolk county MA you may not have known that yesterday was Patriot’s Day aka Marathon Monday. I was SO amazed and moved by the Boston Marathon yesterday. It was truly awesome. It made me think that if any readers out there are running races/raising money for charities please let me know (here or via facebook) and I’d love to give you a guest post to let everyone know about it!
Tomorrow, my youngest sister and I are making an audition video to be on The Amazing Race, my all time favorite show of life. The upcoming season will be the 25th and I am dying to be on it. I have to confess I’ve stayed up later than is wise watching youtube videos of other people who have applied and comparing them to myself and my sister. At first I was sure we were a shoe in. I mean please, if you know either one of us you know the season would be chalk full of my sister’s daring feats of courage interwoven with scenes of me fighting my OCD tendencies but likely succumbing and requesting total strangers rearrange themselves to suit my organizational preferences.
But then, I realized that 20,000 other people are applying. 20,000 other people who are quirky and fun and want desperately to run this race. And I can’t find a way to make myself stand out from the crowd. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up, we are still shooting the video tomorrow and hoping to get on. It’s just that, this in tandem with witnessing the runner’s willpower and endurance at the marathon made me consider anew the feelings of inadequacy that haunt me.
Picture me, at the laundromat with 6 washers full of dirty clothes soiled with my kid’s spit up, “accidents”, and straight up dirt; hazardous construction material stains thanks to my husband and, worst of all, yellow armpit stains on ALL of my white shirts. And these stains aren’t coming from intense physical training or rigorous daily activity. Nope, these stains are all just part of regular everyday. And I started to be what calls a “crankster” instead of a “thankster.”
In other words as I stood there (wearing some stretched out yoga capris and a bleach stained blue tie dyed t-shirt because everything else has to be washed.) I started to despair about everything :
-There is no way some random judges are going to find me “good enough” to be on National TV.
-There is no way I’ll ever have a story worth publishing.
-There is no way I’ll ever have the time or energy to train for distance running again now that I have kids.
-There is no way we will ever get out from under our college/ grad school debts and be able to do anything exciting.
And what is hard is that I’m right.
There is very little statistical chance that I will ever publish a book, run the Boston Marathon, be on the Amazing Race or have the financial security I crave. BUT, that is good for me. Because if I was guaranteed those things I would, “boast against [God], ‘My own strength has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2)
So, I’ve fallen a bit behind in my resolution to read through the Bible chronologically but today I came to the story of Gideon in Judges 7.
Gideon is a lot like me. He is a coward. He asks God for like 200 signs to be sure that he is really supposed to fight against the Midianites who are murdering and oppressing his people. You really should read the story (see reference above) but to sum it up God uses Gideon and 300 men to route thousands of violent enemies.
Now, I am not in mortal danger, and I do not have thousands of enemies. But there are thousands of people and obstacles out there who stand between me and my goals. My tendency is to gather up all my resources and willpower to blast through to what I want. This is not a very healthy way to live life.
Here is the sort of life I want to live, the sort of person I want to be...
I don’t want to envy others their victories or allow comparisons to sully my self-esteem,
I don’t want to be an arrogant braggart because things go my way.
I don’t want strength, endurance, money or fame to be more important to me than my family and friends.
I want to appreciate the moments I am given.
I want to enjoy the peaceful whir of the laundromat
I want to trust God in all things...even the Amazing Race