Dear Readers: I first published this blog in June of 2018, and I wanted to share it again. As always, thank you for reading.
From the time our eight year old daughter came home from school and asked if she could enter a local race, running has been a huge part of our lives. Ironically, neither my husband nor I are runners. In high school, Chad was a goalie and wrestler. I was a show choir and stage fanatic.
But a year after our daughter was born I trained for my first 5K. I spent considerable hours pushing that little gal in a jogging stroller along the country roads of Whitley County, Indiana. I’ve always wondered if that’s where she got her love for running.
Once big sister started running, and competing, and doing well, little brother followed suit. As an elementary student, we took our son to some fairly big races and the kid always delivered, often times while competing against older runners.
Then there was the wreck. Suddenly it was hard to care so much about running anymore. Our son did well enough, but not like he’d done prior to the wreck. Before, I probably would have been upset that he wasn’t running as he’d used to run. After, I am always so delighted just to see him standing, running, and having fun with his team. I believe to be a truly good runner one has to have heart, and it’s hard to run well when your heart is broken. I am always so very, very proud of our son, Cam. No young man should have the memories his then-thirteen year old self has from a horrific wreck on a West Virginia highway.
This past fall in cross country he struggled. Who are we kidding? So did I! This was the season which I’d looked forward to for years. Alissa was a senior and Cam was a freshman; they would run together at meets.
But as we know, Alissa wasn’t running.
At one meet, Cam had a particularly good start. Chad and I thought he might be back in action. We are not distance running rookies, so my husband and I spread ourselves out along 5K courses to try to give our son as much encouragement as possible along the way.
The top runners ran past. No Cam. The runners he was running with ran past. No Cam. The runners he usually ran with ran past. No Cam. The very last runners were straggling past. No Cam.
Someone shouted, “There’s Cam’s mom.” And I knew. I knew what I’d already known as I stood rooted to my spot along the course in hope. Something had gone terribly wrong for my son. A person shouted, “He’s this way! Chad is with him right now!”
I walked quickly but didn’t run. If my husband was already there it was far more important that I pray than get there as quickly as I could. Cam had passed out. We loaded him onto a Gator and the trainer drove him off the course. We got him cooled down and made an immediate appointment with the doctor. There’s more to that story, but that’s not the focus of this, Dear Reader. Instead, I want to tell you about what Cam told me on the way to the doctor.
He said, “I knew I had a really good start and was doing well and then all of a sudden I started to feel really weak. Everyone began to pass me and it wasn’t good. Then everything started to spin and I saw dark circles. I knew I was going to pass out, but by then I figured I had to be the last runner and there was no follow vehicle behind me. I knew if I went down no one would find me for awhile so I had to keep moving. I knew you and dad would be out on the course waiting for me and that I had to get to one of you. And then I saw dad. And once I was sure he saw me and I that he’d find me, I went down.”
Weak, dizzy, and blacking out, Cam was certain if he could just see his father he’d be okay.
Oh, Dear Reader, what a lesson in that! Many of us are tired; we are weak; we are worn; we can barely breathe at times, but our Father is there. He is waiting for us. He is cheering us on! Everything may not feel good right now, but when we finally get to God, our Father, it will all be okay. It may be tempting to give up. We have to keep going. We have to keep trying. We have to keep running.
We have to finish strong and keep plodding along until we see our Father. He can be trusted. And once we see Him, well, then we will know our race is done. God is not looking for the worldly winners. He is watching for the finishers – those who may not have won the trophies here on Earth, but those who remained faithful and true to Him. And we pray we will hear the words we long to hear from our Father, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”