We have so much more courage, strength and passion in us than we think we do. I was reminded recently of an experience from a colleague about how much stamina it takes to live this life and “run this race”. In a allegorical sense, we are on a 50-mile marathon in this life. It is hard enough to do a 26-mile marathon, but really, 50 miles?! So this guy sends tells me how he literally had just finished a 50-mile marathon and during his experience he noticed two huge things: #1 – it was a hell of a lot harder than he ever imagined it would be; and #2 – he had a lot more stamina than he ever imagined possible. This reminds me of our lives. We are all running that marathon of life and sometimes we get so exhausted and sore that we just want to sit down, give up, silently saying and sometimes crying loudly “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!”
I remember about six years ago we had a horrible ice storm, we lost power and were literally unable to get out and about for a couple of days (this is very uncommon here in Texas). When I went out to survey the damage around my house (I literally had to break the ice away from the back door), I looked outside and noticed my little tree “Lacey” was having a crisis (see my blog post about Lacey and growing strong). She had been going through a difficult time that winter. It was only earlier that fall that I planted her outdoors in my garden – she was trying to grow from a houseplant to a real tree for the first time. When I looked outside at Lacey, in horror I saw that this little spindly baby-tree was bent all the way over at her slender trunk and submerged in the water of my hot tub! The heavy weight of the ice on her delicate face of leaves had been more than she could handle. The next two mornings when I awoke I would immediately go out to check on the little tree. Each day she seemed to pull herself up a little until finally, on the third morning when the air was warmer and the ice had began to thaw, there she was, standing upright again!
My point is this: life is like running a marathon and we are like a runner who, against all odds and sometimes facing a race that is harder than imagined, finds more strength and stamina than he knew. Just when he thought he couldn’t run another step, he pulls from within himself the will and determination to get across the finish line.
Many of us are like Lacey, who struggled against the weightiness of the ice on her leaves that eventually bent her over to a near breaking point. Yet when the ice began to thaw, she stood up again, not broken, not shattered or split, but standing tall.
There is so much inside each of us. We have an endless supply of passion, pain, love, hope, ambition, desire – the full range of the human spirit. Even though life sometimes seems disappointing and harder than you ever imagined it to be, remember, like the marathoner, you possess more than you ever thought possible. When you are set on a destination and you engage your strong will, nothing can stop you. So, during this winter, think about the little trees outside and what they go through to stand tall, the seasons of change they endure, yet life always comes back to a healthy tree.
Be encouraged today. I am thinking about you and sending much love and many hugs and wishes for your continued growth in this life, and I pray that you are wishing it for me as well, for it is also my goal.
Love and hugs,
Article first published in 2014 on SaturdaySoul.com.