Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chosing Peace

Running on my trails the other day, I was practicing a more upright running position. Too often I watch so carefully for obstructions at my feet that my running form gets distorted with far too much forward lean. On a part of the path clear of major obstacles I had the shoulders back and head up moving well - for me. A glance down, a shape, the markings - snake! A copperhead stretched out right across the trail. My foot landed just a couple inches behind its tail and I did a one-foot spring jump that I didn't know I was capable of. The snake never moved. Should I kill it? It is a poisonous snake, right? He could be out here again on the trail, couldn't he? But, the snake still lay stretched innocently across the trail, with my large footprint right behind its tail. We were at peace. I let him live. He had chosen not to bite and neither would I. I chose life for the snake and for myself: a beautiful morning of life not marred by violence, bloodshed, and a need to destroy because of something or someone's markings, and capabilities. Oh for a world like that! Oh, that I might live more often in that peace. Perhaps I should choose peace more often?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Saying No to Say Yes

There never seems a perfect time to do this ironman training. Life seems to always be standing in the way, barring the path. And then there is the physical and mental part of all this with myself. Just getting myself through this is hard enough. Twice the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" have turned my charge back. Nothing has really changed. I still have this place here to take care of. There are pastures to mow, trees to cut down, roofs to repair, roads to repair, fence lines to be cleared, fences built, and garden tended. And I have a ninety-nine year old mother in the local nursing home that I see about several days a week. Plus, I have two grand daughters that spend a lot of time with us and want as much of my attention as they can get. Yeah, nothing has changed, except me.
God help me, I think I am starting to believe. I am wading well through all that might diminish my effort. I have said "no" to many second best things I could be doing. I have said "no" to the impulse to train just a little bit more instead of focusing on recovery. The impossible is becoming to seem possible and I am more able to peaceably say "no to the good things and "yes" to the best thing: that impossible dream that may just be possible.

Too often we wait because the time is not opportune. If we wait for a perfect set of circumstances, we will never begin at all. If we want a miracle, we must take Jesus at His word when he bids us to attempt the impossible.

The Gospel of Luke
William Barclay

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fathers Day - Walks On Thin Ice.

Fathers Day two years ago we were threatened by wildfires here. Tense moments. We had to pick out what was important and put it in the car for a fast departure, if required. Amazing how truly important things rise to the top without a lot of thought, like life buoys popping to the surface of the water when released from underwater.

One year ago on Fathers Day, I had an allergic reaction to something, creating serious problems. I truly thought I was going to die as we made the trip to the emergency room. And I remember that on the way to the emergency room we passed by the intersection where I get on my usual bike route. And, I thought of the great times there, thanked God for those times, and wondered and doubted a little, I would ever experience that again.

One more time Fathers Day approaches. Today, on that same course, I heard emergency vehicles coming my way. The traffic was at a standstill. An accident? A fire? As I moved closer to the front of the stalled traffic, I could see a vehicle turned upside down and people looking under it. The ambulance was very near. Not good. I prayed for whoever might be involved in this accident. And, at the same moment - like with the wildfires - without much thought, I tapped into what was really important: My relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the people I love. Fathers Day last year taught me that this life is a walk on thin ice. We can fall through any moment. Do the people I love know how I feel about them? Is there something left unsaid, undone?

At home, I made a point to tell my wife how much I appreciated her and loved her. I wrote my sisters and my son to tell them I loved them. I went to the nursing home and told my soon-to-be 99 year old Mother that I loved her. And I thanked God for giving me this past year, this past 12 months of success and failure, heartbreak, and joy, but most of all for this wonderful relationship and that supernatural capacity to love someone as I can love myself. Moments like these Fathers Days help me access and initiate that sometimes dormant capacity. And in loving more, I have found I walk more closely with Him. For after all: "God IS LOVE.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"I Saw You There"

It is hard to fully convey to those not well-acquainted with ironman, how difficult it is to accept that an ironman dream has died. The mistakes made had caused injury, and the injury crushed my ironman: tough to take. My sister, God bless her, was trying her best to understand, so I sent her a video of Ironman Texas, taken from that website. After viewing she wrote me back. She said she really enjoyed the video and that she can see why I want to do these crazy things. Then she wrote that during some of the finish line footage she thought she saw me there. Really? Yes, Marvin, I thought I saw you there. He looked just like you. I got misty. For months I had seen myself there too. Now, she had seen my dream. I am thankful for that. My prayer is that she was seeing into the future; seeing the completed picture of my moment in time at Ironman Texas 2014? Train. Paint the picture. God willing, maybe next year my sister can say "I saw you there" and it be me.