EM_CLARK1
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Is my "good enough" truly "good enough"?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Today has been a day of important lessons.

My alarm went off at 4:55AM--just like I had set it. Shortly afterward there was a loud THWACK! as the newspaper was thrown up against the side of the house. I got up, stumbled across my room and reset my alarm for an hour later, figuring that I would still have enough time to get my run in, shower and get ready for work.

5:55 rolls around. The radio popped on and I groaned.

Yes, out loud.

I so did not want to get out of bed this morning.

As I was laying there, debating in my mind about getting up and heading out the door, I felt a strong urge to go ahead and get up and get on with my day. But there was a louder, lazier voice that was telling me to keep myself in bed. My mind finally tuned into what was on the radio and I heard Mandisa's "Stronger"--the line that said "Try and do the best you can..." I knew, at that moment, I was not even remotely close to trying to do the best I could. And as I was laying there, the songs from the rest of her new album started running through my head.

Overall, the album is about being real--about being honest with yourself about who you are, where you are, what you're doing and the reasons behind you doing it. And not only being honest with yourself, it's about being honest with others and being willing to say that everything is not okay.

The part that my mind was focusing on, though, was the part about pushing yourself beyond your self-defined "limits" and seizing every moment you can. And, despite the voice that was yelling at me inside of my head, I got up, stumbled across the room again and *thought* I had reset my alarm for an hour later.

9 minutes later, the radio pops back on and I nearly bolt out of bed in shock because I knew that it hadn't been anywhere close to an hour.

Lousy snooze button. ;)

Actually, I'm pretty sure that was God's way of making sure that I would get up again. And perhaps, this time, I would actually do more than just stumble across the room to my alarm clock.

No dice.

I reset the alarm (for real this time...I triple-checked) and went back to bed, the voices still urging me to stay up, get dressed, and get out the door.

When the alarm went off another hour later, I laid in bed, listening to the dj's jabbering for a bit before they introduced a caller. This caller said something so profoundly convicting that it actually physically hurt my heart. She was talking about how she had been putting off doing something that she knew she should be doing--she knew that God wanted her to do it, but she kept putting off obeying that call. Part of me started thinking "Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've heard this story before..." In fact, I had been reading about it the night before in my Bible right before I had gone to bed. But then she said something that astounded me. She was driving to work, thinking about this task that she was given but hadn't followed through with and suddenly she saw a sign that read:

"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried."

It was the kick she needed to get on track again.

And it was my own swift kick in the rear.

It was too late for me to head out for a run--I had missed that opportunity completely by insisting on staying in bed. I had no real excuse--other than I had stayed up too late the night before and was paying the price. I could have gotten up, but I didn't.

And I found that as I mulled over the idea that procrastination actually can overpower opportunities, I started kicking myself for missing my opportunity to workout this morning.

All day long, off and on I was thinking about it. I started out the morning listening to Mandisa's album "What if We Were Real", but every other song reminded me of what I deliberately hadn't done.

And my heart was feeling beaten up by that thought.

Before leaving for work, I had resolved that I would get my run in between work ending and a practice to which I was going. I packed my gym bag with my workout clothes and brought it to work. Every time the reminder of the opportunity I had missed out on earlier in the day came up, I would (rather stubbornly) tell myself that I was going to make up for it this evening.

At lunch, I went to visit a friend. As I was driving over to her place, I started thinking about how windy it was. And I told God (and myself) that I could probably handle the wind--but please don't let the grey clouds overhead start dumping stuff. My gym bag didn't have anything in it that would help me combat the wet.

About an hour and a half after getting back from lunch, a deluge started. It started out as sprinkling....and I started bemoaning the fact that I had missed my opportunity this morning all over again. I even told both of my co-workers about it.

As I was telling my second co-worker about it, the rain started turning into little balls of hail. Those balls of hail quickly grew into larger balls of hail, intermixed with rain and developing slush on the sidewalk. For the next hour there was just nothing but wet. And I kept pleading with God--should He see fit and the weather clear up--to let me go out and run. Not only would I go out and run, but I would do so willingly and eagerly.

Let's face it, we know there's a difference between working out because we "have to" and working out because we "want to".

God is so good.

An hour before I was done with work for the day, the hail stopped, the rain tapered off until it went away entirely, and the ground even dried up. And sure, enough, I was able to go for my run.

Not only was I able to, I took advantage of the new opportunity I was given and did it.

And not only did I do it--I had two HUGE victories while doing it.

The first of which: My goal for my halfway point on this particular path was not only met, but surpassed--this thrilled me to no end! I think the last time I had gone past that point was when I was walking and training for my first Bloomsday race two years ago.

The second: I got my overall average pace down to under 16:00 minutes/mile. Not only that, it was significantly under! I was averaging 15:33 minutes/mile!!!!!

That, my friends, is what I call grace--that God gave me a second chance, and when I went out in obedience to His call, He blessed me by helping me not just beat, but STOMP two of my goals.

WOOHOO! :)

There are many lines from Mandisa's album that stand out, but there are a couple of lines from "Waiting for Tomorrow" that kind of summarize my realization today:

I don't wanna look back and wonder
If "Good Enough" could have been better
Everyday's a day that's borrowed
So why am I waiting for tomorrow?

And again, the quote that has rocked my world today:
Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Here are the full lyrics for "Waiting for Tomorrow":

Maybe tomorrow I'll start over
Maybe tomorrow I will finally change my ways
I said the same thing yesterday
Don't know why I'm so afraid to let You in
To let You win
To let You have all of me

I can't live my whole life wasting
All the grace that I know You've given
'Cause You made me for so much more
Than sitting on the sidelines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If "Good Enough" could have been better
Everyday's a day that's borrowed
So why am I waiting for tomorrow?

Maybe today I'll start believing
That Your mercy's really as real as You say it is
Doesn't matter who I used to be
It only matters that I've been set free
You rescued me
You're changing me
Jesus, take everything

I can't live my whole life wasting
All the grace that I know You've given
'Cause You made me for so much more
Than sitting on the sidelines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If "Good Enough" could have been better
Everyday's a day that's borrowed
So why am I waiting for tomorrow?

Oh, I'm making this my moment now
To grab the hand that's reaching down to save me
Oh, You save me

And I'm making this my moment now
To grab the hand that's reaching down to save me
Oh, You save me

I can't live my whole life wasting
All the grace that I know You've given
'Cause You made me for so much more
Than sitting on the sidelines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If "Good Enough" could have been better
Everyday's a day that's borrowed
So why am I waiting for tomorrow?

I'm gonna grab the hand that's reaching down
And I'm not gonna wait until tomorrow
Oh, tomorrow
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DONEPAT
    Great post! Shannon Buck always used to say that to me about procrastination! I think its human nature to do that, but as I get older, I realize what you wrote, every day is borrowed, and putting stuff off can be a bad thing- a list of "oh, I should have's but I thought I had more time."

    My phrase I use to encourage myself is "Always do your best". I also saved a chinese fortune that says, "the beginning is always the hardest." I keep those 2 thoughts in mind when I don't want to do things. And, there is ALOT I don't want to do!
    I wish I could be (more) in touch with God like you are!
    I really enjoyed your post.
    Hugs, - Patty.
    emoticon
    3237 days ago
  • MELYSSAMALLONEE
    Thanks for sharing Erin! This realization is what helped me lose 90 pounds starting 4 years ago. I was in my physical therapists office and she asked me what I did at lunch time, since having a 6,2 and newborn baby...I didn't have much free time. And I answered, eat my lunch in front of my computer and work. And she told me, "So you're telling me that the only 30-60 minutes of free time you have, you give it up and sit and work?".

    That was all it took... Now I run marathons, am much smaller and healthier. That ONE question/statment changed my life forever. Really she was asking the same question. You have an opportunity, are you gonna grab it and make something out of it or are you going to just give it awqay....

    Love it!

    God bless you Erin!

    3238 days ago
  • KPRFLAH1
    Great Blog! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and congrats on beating 2 of your goals and getting in touch with God!
    3238 days ago
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