Courage When You Have to Start Over
Written by Guest Blogger, Pamela Lau
We’d been awake since 5 AM.
By the time the race started it was 10 AM and breakfast seemed like an eternity ago. Squinting into the sun, the runners gathered at the starting line flapping their arms, shrugging their shoulders, and loosening up muscles for the upcoming miles.
I was with my 18-year-old daughter and a group of friends in Bend, Oregon for a 10K last November. There’s something energizing about waiting for the start of a race, being surrounded by eager bodies, and preparing yourself to go strong—even when you’re tired and hungry.
At the sound of the gunshot we were off and within the first mile I knew something was different about this run. When I glanced at my watch and saw my heart rate climbing way too fast, I took a deep breath, hoping to slow it down.
“Oh no!” I thought, I was so ready for this fun day with my daughter and I’m losing energy with every step. It was then that I realized why my breathing was so difficult—we were in higher altitude. By mile two, it was all I could do to muster up the strength to run four more miles. The worst part was that I had slipped to the back of the group.
I felt defeated.
That’s when I started the negative self-talk like “I’m really out of shape” or “how did I get talked into this?” or my go-to line “I’m never doing this again!”
Suddenly, the group of runners in front of me came to a slow halt as we heard the words over the loudspeaker,
“All 10K runners please stop! We sent you the wrong way and we need you to start over!”
Were they serious? Did anyone know how difficult those first few miles were for me? I was tempted to drop out of the race when I looked around at all the eager smiles and wiggly limbs preparing to . . . START. OVER.
And that’s when I felt the courage surge within me.
The courage to not only start over, but to finish my race. How could I miss out of all the fun? I wanted to finish with my daughter and our friends!
I felt as if Jesus had written Hebrews 12: 1-2 on my heart:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Have you ever noticed that when you start on a new God-given mission or task, you’re feeling good, lighthearted? Then real life happens and you feel like you’re running in higher altitude gasping for air? Or you sigh deeply with the realization that you do indeed have to start over?
Here’s the good news – you are not alone!
You are created with a capacity to go strong by throwing off whatever holds you back! Look up and around to see the faithful witnesses right beside you and let them inspire you to start over and finish your race.
As I finished writing this, I prayed for you! May the Spirit of Jesus fill you – the One who created and will finish your faith!
Please join me on March 4th at the Ignite Conference where I will be giving two talks on Courage and Joshua 1 and 2. Dare to be your most Authentic Self and Dare to Risk it All.