Monday, November 18, 2013
This all started with a book. Not a book about running mind you, or being fit. A book about prayer. My Bible study group just finished Mark Batterson's book, The Circle Maker. And now, as crazy as it sounds I'm training for a 5k. I never would have connected the two...prayer and doing a 5k, but this isn't your usual hum-drum nice little book about prayer. If you take the ideas in the book to heart you can change your habits and perspectives about all different areas of life.
When I was in high school, college, and young and single living in Chicago I used to enjoy running for exercise. Growing up I used to love running and biking our country road winding along the lake. As a young urbanite I loved hitting the pavement through the neighborhoods of the North side of Chicago with all the chic stores and restaurants before getting to the lakefront.
But that all changed when I was diagnosed with Lupus after our second child was born. Suddenly every joint was wrought with pain and I struggled just to be able to give our children baths at night. Within a few years I was hospitalized, pumped up on steroids and then suddenly but temporarily paralyzed. I had to struggle to walk again. Slowly, with physical therapy I had to work my way back to being self-sufficient again and then work to take care of our kids again. It was also a time of major upheaval and job changes. Running for exercise was just not in my picture anymore.
All of those changes are behind me now. But life with Lupus is not easy. I still have days or nights full of pain or fatigue. I still struggle with feeling sick a lot. Sometimes I am in a flare for weeks or months. I still thought running was no longer an option for me. I have no impact cardio workouts and even do the SP chair cardio workouts on days my knees hurt too much. I knew I missed running, but I thought I had adapted and adjusted to giving it up.
Then I read this book. Near the end, the author talks about life goals.
"Goals are the cause and effect of praying hard. On the front end, prayer is a goal incubator. The more you pray, the more God-sized goals you'll be inspired to go after. But prayer doesn't just inspire godly goals, it also ensures that you keep praying hard because it is the only way you'll accomplish a God-sized goal. Simply put, prayers naturally turn into goals, and goals naturally turn into prayers. Goals give you a prayer target."
Yes...there is much more to it than that. But I was inspired to dream again. And not dreams like, 'lose that last 10 lbs.' but to dream impossible dreams, big dreams, godly dreams. So I wrote down my life goals...20 of them for now. And one of them is to complete a 5k.
I have no idea how I'm going to do that, and it still seems impossible to me, but I took my first sweet steps today - I did my first SP training run/walk on our country road, taking in the fall colors and breathing in the fall air.
I have a long way to go and I may have hurdles along the way, but I can't even describe how good it felt to use my body in that way again. I am so grateful just to walk...and now to run again (or shuffle as I'm sure it looked to others)!
So, I'll keep walking/running and I'll keep praying. God only knows what it will lead to!
How about you...what are your life goals? What seems impossible to you right now?