Hitting the halfway mark, I turned around, heading back down the slight incline and thinking about the course. This year, I’d stretched it out, jogging past the place where I normally turned around and going instead to a drive further up the road.
“You’re running a short three,” The Pragmatic One had told me over the years with the barest hint of a smirk. “But I know where the mile mark is,” I’d huff back, “and I just eyeball it from there. I’m pretty sure…”
That morning, running along in the heat, recalling those conversations, I remember thinking, “I should just drive it for once and see what the mileage actually is.” Yup, I’d just get the beloved *BMV out and clock it. That would settle it, I thought. Then this: What if I find out that all this summer, I’ve been going long?
Just like that, it came. Going long…
Don’t I have people, situations in my life that try my patience, causing stress and frustration? People, needy and messy, who require energy? Take time?
Yes, I do. The carnal part (I confess it) wants to wash my hands, to ignore, to not get involved with messy people…
“Go long.” I knew the whisper. “Go long. Run that second mile. Don’t wash your hands of these, the needy, for you, too, are of the messy.
Oh, I am. And so are you. In mercy, Christ has “gone long” for us, the needy ones, showering grace and mercy day by day, moment by moment, loving us, messes and all.
“The love of Christ compels us,” doesn’t it, to offer it back to those around. Offering extra grace, extra love, extra mercy and a second (or third or fourth or fifth) chance.
Today, as names and faces of your own difficult people click through your mind, try this – go long. Offer one more time. Try one more time. Run one more mile, breathing in grace every moment and receiving His strength.
*BMV – Blue Mommy Van, the moniker for mama’s favorite vehicle