I watched you run in the rain last Friday. To be specific, I should probably say, “I watched you run in the pouring rain. . .or even a monsoon!” It was the conference track meet of your senior year, and you were more determined than I’ve ever seen you. I was so proud of you.
The rain started slowly at first, just before your race. When your relay team took the track, it came down even more. And when you grabbed the baton on that second leg of the relay, the skies let loose. I cheered for you the whole way. I know you heard me. Let’s be real, everybody heard me! I cheered as you passed a runner and it rained even more. I cheered for you on the back stretch as you passed multiple runners, and I knew the rain had to be hindering your vision. I cheered and cheered as you held off multiple runners and set your team up for success to hopefully finish where you knew you could finish. I watched you run in the rain last Friday. And I couldn’t have been more proud of you.
But last Friday wasn’t the first time I’ve watched your run in a downpour. I’ve watched your “run in a downpour” for basically the last six years.
Although I kept my eyes closed in that wrecked minivan, and there was no rain in sight that day, I could hear you behind me, as the storm raged around us. “My name is Cameron Jagger. I’m 13. This is my mom, Amy. We are from Indiana.” I watched your run in the rainstorm that day and you grew up. . .just like that. You didn’t have a choice.
I’ve watched you run in the rain, as the time, energy, and money dad and I have spent on you compared to your sister has been vastly different. I watched you switch to “auto-raise” sometimes for hours, days, and weeks at a clip. I watched you keep plodding along while living with a perspective that many adults will never have; a perspective which couldn’t help but cause you to pause and wonder what in the world was the rest of the world even thinking. And why was everyone complaining so much?
I’ve watched you run in the rain. Most kids would have quit or become very bitter, yet you continued to work hard with your schoolwork, your mandatory summer jobs, and your practices. On more than one occasion, I literally watched people push you out of the way so they could get closer to your sister, the “star” in the wheelchair. Multiple times I literally watched our family enter a room and saw many people rush to greet your sister, yet no one (or only a few people) greeted you. And I’ve had countless people who have asked me, “You have a son too, right? What’s his name?” To which I always respond, “His name is Cameron and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
I’ve watched your run in the rain of a pandemic. Not having a junior prom (and other small things in life) truly devastated many of your classmates, but not you. You see, the pandemic your junior and senior years of high school was just another hurdle for you to jump over in the race of life. The pandemic took many of your classmates down as they grew weary and tired of it all. You too, have grown weary and tired of it all, but you keep on running. Mile after figurative mile, you keep on running with the knowledge that you are not in control. Cameron, I’m so proud of you. You understand what you can control and you control those things, but you also understand there is much in this world which you cannot control; so, you don’t try to control everything. This makes you healthy. This makes you strong. This makes you different. This makes you an excellent runner in this race we call “life.”
I’ve watched you run in the rain, Cam. I’ve watched you run with people who have been devastated by a few sprinkles, sprinkles you don’t even notice. I’ve watched you run in the rain, Cam. I’ve watched your run with humor and wisdom and intellect. I’ve watched you run in the rain, Cam. Keep running, son. Keep running in the rain as you graduate and head to college. And please know, I will always always keep cheering for you. And above all, please keep running in a manner so that one day you will hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done, Cam J.!”
Until the next Wednesday the Lord allows.