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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

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race

End Well

It’s hard to know sometimes when you are at the end of something. Most times, our intuition knows something is over long before our heart accepts it and our head wraps itself around it. But deep down, we know.

And still we hold on till the death.

Because it’s hard to let go. I don’t care what it is. Letting go is a terribly tragic process.

I was reminded this morning that I am near an end and for all intensive purposes, what I’m at the end of doesn’t matter. Be it this ending today, another ending will be in my future a thousand more times. Letting go is cyclical and is not the point of this writing…ending well is.

Usually when we are at the end, we are tired. We are worn out or worn through and are exhausted with all the keeping up that hanging on entails. I think about all the races I’ve ran and how when I was a few miles from the finish line, my legs began to feel like slabs of jello and my chest felt as if it was filled with fire balls which made just about everything at the last half of the race fall apart. I certainly didn’t end with the same form as when I began…maybe that happens to us all.

Who really likes their finish line photo? I certainly don’t.

Ragged and tattered, every single one of us.

I think ending well has more to do with the things the naked eye cannot see. Things that aren’t felt. Things that are buried deep within us and are a part of our DNA that sometimes needs called to the surface with the intensity of a drill instructor at boot camp whom gets up in your face and spits in it. Things like:

Love. Endurance. Forgiveness. Honesty. Faithfulness. Courage. Humility. Integrity.

Because sometimes being tired takes over and those things slip. The flesh seethes and oozes in pain and the core gets sore from carrying the weight of your suffering because it’s easier to be consumed with the stitch in your side or the thoughts about how you can’t possibly feel your legs or take one more step…

So if you are like me and are nearing the end of your race, end well. Your form may be all shot to hell but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything left in you to give.

Take a deep breath and and listen to the voice of God whisper: “It’s not so much about getting to the finish line that matters. Everyone finishes. Choose HOW you finish. And then end well.”

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Keep Up

I could begin to feel it coming on, the weight was bearing down fast and hard.

Some would say feelings are dangerous things and should not be trusted, and part of me agrees in a sense, but would also argue on the other hand against that statements validity. Feelings are important. They arrive on the scene in a flash and place a check in my gut and if I listen close enough, halt me in my tracks. They try to talk to me in various ways and give me gust of CAN-DO’s that get me off my ass and encourage follow through. They allow uneasiness to settle if I make a rash decision or if I’m headed down the wrong path or one a little too soon. They give me peace and contentment on one hand to proceed and a colored flag in the other imploring me, “Look Here.” 

So when these feelings come, I don’t try to shove them out my front door like an unwelcomed houseguest. Instead I invite them to stay for a bit and this time, I sit with them and I say,

“WHAT ARE YOU TRYING SHOW ME?”

“You are spending too much of your time looking at what other people are doing, particularly in how they are interacting with one another and you think you need to keep up. You need to be this to that person and that to another. The heaviness you feel is the weight of your own expectation and looking too long leads to you compare which inevitably makes you think you need to measure up. Before long, here you are, feeling not enough. The list grows and quickly…you don’t think you share Jesus enough, that you aren’t a good enough friend, blah blah blah…

because if you were…”

So to me, the weightiness is a cue.

R-E-F-O-C-U-S

Eyes off the crowd. Cheer them on, yes. Stay in the “Good For You” spirit which is honest and sincere because we were not created to go it alone. Others are vitally important, they are much like our feelings; they inspire, encourage, caution, correct. And some you got to let come and then let go. I know for a fact that one person’s ceiling may be my floor and vice versa, but I don’t necessarily think we need to step on one another’s backs to make progress. I envision crossing finish lines together, hand in hand, but then again..you may want to pay me no mind. My head often gets lost in literal clouds and I’m known to be overly sentimental. What I am trying to say is BOTH are needed but I know in order for forward movement to take place, I must do MY part. I got to step. So I find myself doing the dance and engage the continual cha-cha of life…

step back…step to the side…step forward

I am once more reminded to set my own pace and run my own race. I want the team, I need the crowd, but if I am not careful, my identity can get wrapped up in WHO they are and not in WHO I am.

What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander, or maybe it’s what is good for the gander is not always good for the goose…whatever it may be, don’t forget you were created individually unique with purpose and are a intricate part of a family…

a family who very much needs to you to show up as YOU.

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