By the grace of God I've had the opportunity to run three marathons.
Each one has been a different journey than the other.
Each filled with its own set of challenges.
The first marathon was fast, flat, open, crowded, and exhilarating.
The second, sweltering, lonely, winding, mentally taxing (double loop), and surprising.
This past weekend I ran my third. It was called a trail marathon. There were only 300 participants...250 finished. I saw runners cry, crawl, curse, and crumble. And although I ran for the longest amount of time in my life (over five hours) it felt like the shortest marathon I've run. It was raining and even hailing. We crossed rushing streams, pushed up muddy mountains, and barreled down the other side. We ran behind waterfalls and were treated to one last "hill" at mile 26. It was hard and I loved it. I wasn't setting any records. I'm no elite athlete. But, we finished...me and Jesus. This marathon taught me so many good truths about our journey through life as a child of God. One of the many treasures He spoke to my heart was this...more people fall going downhill than fail going up. When you have struggled up a mountain side kind of trial and you feel so grateful to have made it to the top, don't underestimate the challenge of going down the other side. Watch for stumbling blocks. Don't let your guard down on the trail....rocks come out of nowhere and if you are not concentrating on the path because the way is easier...you might fall. The hardest part of this marathon for me was going downhill. I was tentative and always getting passed by these gazelle like runners who were used to both sides of a mountain. They were prepared. I want to be like that....on the trail and in this life.