Fifty-four weeks ago I was in this same position. My gear was packed, I had my race number and I was ready to go. My first triathlon, my Race for Kristi, which many of you so graciously supported, would start just after dawn on a cool Sunday morning in October. It was a 400 yard swim, 11 mile bike and 4 mile run. I was sweating the swim and unsure about the run.
This week during morning Bible study with the children we’ve been going through the book of Joshua. It opens in chapter 1 with God prodding Joshua to get moving by telling him three times: “Be strong and courageous!” The Father has been gently leading me to get going as well. The message this week to be strong and courageous was timely. It really hit home when I realized the context. Joshua had been mourning the death of Moses. God tells him its time to get past the mourning and get to leading!
I shared this wake-up call with the children, explaining that it doesn’t mean grief is gone or finished, but that its ok to move forward with God in anticipation of the good He’s going to continue to work in, with and through us… to look for and live in the joy that He gives.
Tomorrow my family will be there cheering me on at the finish line…minus one key person from last year. But I take courage and strength from the fact that my Father is with me. That tomorrow its ok to race with joy, excitement and energy.
A year ago I was a tri-newbie, tomorrow will be my fifth race this year. Last year I was hoping to finish 15.25 miles. Tomorrow I hope to finish 70.3 miles. Last year I quailed at the thought of exercising for more than an hour. Tomorrow my goal is to finish in six hours.
Last year I was focused on helping Kristi in her battle. This year I’m focused on moving forward. Taking one day, one step at a time. Tomorrow is a microcosm of life…don’t look at the whole stretch of open water, just keep swimming until 1.2 miles are down and my feet hit bottom. I can’t regard the entire 56 mile bike course, I just have to keep spinning my legs until I wheel in to the transition area. And I certainly can’t dread the 13.1 mile run… I must simply keep focused on the moment, choosing to be strong and courageous by putting one foot forward at a time until the finish chute swings into view.
Be Gone, B-9, B-Healed… its a way of life!