Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Last Leg Revisited

In this Operation Christmas Child race we're in the last leg.  There are only 35 days until the end of National Collection Week.  You'd think it would be easy to stay motivated as we near the end, but I find myself in these days prone to feeling tired and unmotivated.

Our large packing party is over and I want to coast but it's not time for that yet. It made me think of something I wrote and sent to my fellow Mid-Atlantic area coordinators a couple of years ago, so I'm revisiting that piece here:

The Last Leg

I just wanted to write some thoughts about Leigh's comment that we're in the last leg of this year's Amazing Race.  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.  

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.

I love what Leigh has started with sharing praises.  Maybe we could share our requests this way, too, and rejoice in all the answers.  Sharing this race together is the most important way to make sure no one gets left behind and that we bring in every box God has planned for us. 

Let's keep sharing and praying and holding each other up until we cross the line on November 19th.  Let's wait on the Lord so we can "run and not be weary and walk and not faint."

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