Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ironman Texas 2017 - Getting to Nevertheless

In the beginning God; and, on the first day, God created a dream. And the dream sifted and settled inside the mind, wedged its way down deep within my heart, was nurtured and grew there. The dream budded and bloomed into words: "Do An Ironman," loudly ringing in resonance to my spirit, committing my body and mind. Now years and many heartaches, setbacks, and failures later - my Miles of the Journey - the calling is satisfied.
And God smiled and said, it was good.

On the windy bike course,I was poured out like water.
I can't go on.
God is there any other way?
Can I just quit?
Can you get me out of this?
Then the thought of Jesus, the night he was betrayed, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." Yes Lord. Nevertheless.
Nevertheless became my mantra.
Both legs were cramping, shaking like Jello, and the wind was howling in my face for me to stop: nevertheless. Over eighty done and over thirty miles go. I am running on fumes: nevertheless.
This is for you God. Twelve miles to go, I stop many times, lean over my handlebars and pray. Give me strength to finish this bike course, Lord. It was harder to get going each time that I stopped, but nevertheless.

Finally, the end of the bike course, and I got to stop. But my legs wouldn't hold me up to get off the bike, and I fell hard onto the pavement. I was bleeding from my bad knee. I was limping badly. My legs hurt terribly. It was difficult to walk. Nevertheless I had done it: finished the brutal bike course with my strength already gone. It would have been great to do the run and have finished, but nevertheless, it was enough for God. Like Jesus, I could say, "It is finished." I had obeyed: I had my well-done from God.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Close to the End of the Journey

This will be the last post before Ironman Texas 2017. Tomorrow we leave for the venue. What a journey this has been. There have been so many hurdles and setbacks, I won't bother to go into all that. But, it has been one hill after another for almost 5 years now, just trying to get to the starting line of Ironman Texas. Unless something else comes out of the woodwork and goes terribly wrong, I may just line up for the swim in a little over 40 hours. It is close.

But God is close to. In fact, I think He is closer now than He has ever been. He didn't move. I made room in my own heart and mind to scoot on over closer to Him. It has made all the difference this time. And sure, I have some tenseness. Sure, I realize my knee still isn't that good, and odds are I won't make it all the way to the finish line in time. But, I am going to line up to try, and that is one huge blessing and worthwhile destination of these miles of the journey

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Looking for a Well Done From God

Ironman Texas 2017 - my best chance. After years of trying and failing to get to the starting line of Ironman Texas, I find myself a week away from going to pick up my packet for the event. And,it is less than ten days from getting in the water; beginning the event for the first time. Nothing hurts right now. No one is sick right now. I am getting rested little by little. My run of an hour and twenty minutes today was easy and painless. Am I being blessed? Even though I am several years older than when I first ventured into this failure fraught journey, I believe this year is my best chance.

Worry and fear have matured into a dulled concern. Down there somewhere I must be very scared but I don't feel it. Am I being blessed? And, although I really don't think I have a good chance of finishing within the cut-off times, at least I have some chance: a chance to venture out there; to do my best for those who stood by me through all this, and for myself. But most of all I want to do my best for God. He has been there steadying my boat through this; gave me courage and hope to get up from the canvas each time I was knocked down. Whether this ends with me broken down on the course or crossing the finish line, my dream is a "well done" from God. And if so, I will have been blessed.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

And My Flag Is Still There

"The rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag is still there." That is how Francis Scott Key could see and know that the American flag was still flying from the fort in the midst of the bombardment: by the light of rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air. He could see the country's true colors by the light of the very things sent to destroy.

Which brings me to this ironman thing. There is a bad knee that won't ever be well - sounds like popcorn popping when I run. There is an ongoing urinary problem aggravated by sitting on a bike; my bike and run times in training are pathetic: and besides all this, I am just too old for an all day and half the night event. I am outmatched, under-gunned, and very low on ammunition. A surrender flag seems appropriate.

But the fort still seems to be holding despite all odds. It's crazy, but looking through all my setbacks - though I have been bombed by ironman for years now - through it all I see by the rocket's red glare of troubles, that my flag, my hope, my dream, is still there. Put away that surrender flag; there is fight in me yet, and I still want to do battle for the Glory of God. In answer to His calling, I still want to be an ironman and my flag is still there.