Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Last Leg

There are only two days left until the Giant Operation Christmas Child 10,000 shoebox packing party. It's really the last leg now. As a veteran of 5 marathons (years ago!) I realize that many runners divide the marathon into two halves. The first half is the first 20 miles and the second half is the last 6.2 miles. Now it would seem that after you've run the first 20 miles the last 6.2 would be easier. Not so.

There's a physiological reaction when your glycogen stores are depleted that runners call "hitting the wall" and it often happens at about 20 miles into the race. Your energy is gone, your body protests, and you can't imagine making it for another 6.2 miles. If you're like me in this Shoebox Race, you might feel like you're "hitting the wall".

What do you do when you come to that point in the race? One thing that always helped me was to take the rest of the race step by step. When I couldn't imagine running even one more mile, let alone 6.2 miles, I would concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. I would refuse to let myself walk. I would take one step at a time, and hold on to the next tenth of a mile. Then I'd do it again for the next tenth.

I need to do that step-by-step thing now. There are so many details to come together in just 2 days. Still don't know if the 3000 crayons will come in. We still don't know if or when we'll be getting any paper donated. I still have carloads of stuff to move from my old church. But if I can keep taking one step at a time there's a hope of making it.

The other thing that helped enormously is the encouragement of others. When someone comes up beside you and runs with you it makes a huge difference. When the crowd lining the course is cheering for you, there's a burst of energy that bubbles up and gives you renewed strength. We can cheer for each other and run alongside one another and, together, we'll get to the finish line.

On Tuesday night my husband and I drove to New Wilmington to pick up boxes from my fellow Operation Christmas Child Area Coordinators, Jim and Joline Urban. When we got there, eight members of Jim and Joline's team were there to help us load those boxes into our truck and minivan and with their sweat and ingenuity we were able to do a miracle and get 6000 boxes into our vehicles. I never thought it would happen! Their servant hearts and willing work are unrivaled.

I am so grateful for the prayers and encouragement I'm receiving this week. When God brings the victory at this packing party on Saturday it will be because all of you in places all around the country joined together with us here in Erie to make it happen.

Let's run the last leg together.

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