So often we chart our path, set out to run a mile, five, ten…and it’s hard. The road before us looms long and dark and I can’t help but wonder if it’s been uphill the whole way?
It seems like that a lot of the time. Uphill and long on tired, weary legs.
I was running this road a few nights ago. Legs aching from the moment I stepped out the door I wondered how I would make it through the miles.
But a little further up, a little black dog met me on the road as if he was waiting for me. I told him to go home, but he wouldn’t listen. He ran and he skipped down the middle of the road, stopped when I stopped to take a photo, and then ran back along side me. A buddy, a companion for this road. This day.
I tried to take a photo of him running because his little body was so amusing to me. His tongue hanging to the side and his short little legs that kicked up under him with the joy of running. The joy of companionship. Having a friend to play in the street.
I couldn’t get a good shot because when I stopped, he stopped. Sweet little friend.
I tried to run like him.
Effortless. For the joy of the moment – fully in the moment – even when the miles get tough. Because the miles were tough that night.
As I ran on I began to climb a hill. It’s a tough hill, long and steady it rises. Just when you’re ready to quit, it crests to look out at a valley of farm fields, grazing cows, and a horizon of trees fully clothed in their most beautiful splendor. Breathtaking.
I stopped for a moment to catch my breath, pet my new friend, and breathe in the beauty of my own backyard.
When I turned around I realized how far I had come. How far I have come.
So often we get so focused on the road ahead that we forget to look back. And the path was hard, and the miles were tough, and we’re tired and weary and worn from the travel. But it was worth it. It always is. Because the difficult miles are what have made us.
A fighter, a poet, a lover, a friend.
The world will try to break you, the critics defeat you, but your strength is within. Your courage lies in the deepest places when the miles get tough. Where we draw our strength to stand. Where we see we are so much better for the travel. For the tired, weary feet.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Look back. See how far you’ve come. You are strong, you are brave, you are doing good work. Keep going. Keep looking back to see. It’s a beautiful story, your legacy.
Thank you for joining me on this 31 day adventure of seeing extraordinary in the so very ordinary of our lives. It’s there…waiting for us to see. To reach out and hold on to the promise that life is still beautiful in the darkest of days. There is a fire that burns, daring you to take it’s light and stand. To shine in the darkness. Not in a way that belies the truth of our life, but one that courageously stands in the midst of it. Messy and broken and threadbare and FULL. Choosing joy, kindness, peace, gentleness and mercy. Grace. Endless grace.
Be blessed my friends. I hope this journey has blessed you as much as it has blessed me doing it. I am thankful for each life present here, each moment shared in this space. You matter. And you inspire me. Thank you.