So, Monday evening I went for what I thought was an easy four-mile run, and truly, my run felt quite easy. However, my face and posture may have indicated otherwise. I encountered two other runners about two miles into my run as they were running the opposite direction. These boys couldn’t have been more than sixteen-years-old. As they approached, they smiled at me and said, “Doing great! Keep going!!”
Now, I could have taken their words in a couple of different ways. First, I could have thought, “Young whippersnappers! I’d run like that too if I was sixteen!” On the other hand, I could think, “Yes, that’s right! I am doing great, and I only have two short miles left to go! Thanks for the encouragement, guys!”
Last evening’s run reminds me of a couple of life truths. I need to remember what I’m showing to the rest of the world. My running pace was nice and easy for me, and I felt great. Sadly, I don’t believe my face was displaying the true joy of my experience.
How often do we go about our lives with a sour look on our faces or an edge to our words, and we’re not even aware of living in this manner? If we’re “happy and we know it,” if we’ve known God’s love in our lives, then our faces ought to show it. We could and should be conduits of God’s life growing through us with every breath we take. It can be too easy for us to struggle through the day, playing the victim game. If you know God’s love and joy, make sure you remember to smile, to radiate with Christ’s likeness.
The other truth witnessed on my run is that it doesn’t take a great deal to lift someone’s spirits. I was having a really good run before I encountered those younger runners. I was doing excellent after there four short words of encouragement! Words are very powerful. We have the gift to lift another’s soul. We can choose to be self-absorbed, that is, thinking solely of our needs and wants, or we can choose to lift and build others up.
The God of my understanding is one of infinite possibilities and hope. So remember, as we say our prayers and acknowledge God’s presence in our lives may we both hear and call out to one another, “Doing great! Keep going!” I know that’s what I enjoy witnessing.
In God’s Grace,