I’m currently training to run a half marathon at the end of this month. This is one of the many reasons that things have been pretty quiet on the blog lately. With the change in weather, I’ve been spending every spare minute playing outside with the kids, gardening, running, and even a bit of relaxing in the sun with a book. I really do miss blogging, so now that my training runs are winding down and my garden is all planted, I’m working to get back into a writing routine to keep things rolling with this blog.
Anyways, the other day I was out for an 11 mile training run. Let me start by saying that by “run”, I actually mean run/walk. I love running, but I also enjoy slowing down and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. I don’t run to win races and be the fastest. I run for the joy and the thrill of it, so I take many walking breaks and my times are really slow. I’m also going into this race very unprepared. I decided very late in the game that I would run the half marathon instead of the 10k.
Back to my story, I headed out for my 11 mile run excited and ready to conquer the distance. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me until about mile 5 that I should have actually brought some water on this long run (in beautiful 70 degree weather!). I didn’t have any fluids on me and I wasn’t running anywhere that would have a drinking fountain. Big mistake!
Around mile 8 I was starting to get desperate for a drink. A young girl smiled and waved at me and I realized I couldn’t even smile, my mouth was so parched. My fluid of choice during/after a run is AdvoCare Rehydrate. It’s an electrolyte drink similar to Gatorade but a healthier option that I think works much better. While taking one of my walking breaks I even posted on Facebook (from my phone) that I would give my right arm for an ice cold Rehydrate. I was dying! (Note: I would have gladly taken any drink; I just might not have been as willing to part with my arm.)
Advocare is a network marketing company and I knew that there were probably Advocare distributors living in the neighborhood I was running. But that wasn’t helping me because I don’t know a single person who lives in the neighborhood. At one point I thought/prayed “man, it would be really convenient if Advocare distributors had yard signs for times like these” knowing that if I could find an active Advocare distributor, they would probably be able to give me the drink that I so desperately needed. Wouldn’t you know, within a half mile of saying this little prayer I saw an Advocare yard sign with a guy outside, cleaning up his garage. Totally random. I know that there are people with yard signs for their network marketing businesses, but they are very, very rare and I just happened to find one minutes after praying for that very thing!
Except, I was too worried about how awkward it would be to ask a complete stranger for a drink that I just kept running! I struggled through 3 more long, hot, thirsty miles because I was too nervous to step out of my comfort zone to take hold of the one thing that I prayed for and desperately needed at that moment.
I haven’t been able to get that out of my head. I survived the run. I didn’t perform great, but I made it. I also learned my lesson to never go on a long run without bringing my water belt with me in the future. I wasn’t injured and have no lasting effects of not stopping to ask for a drink. But if I would have stopped, I could have had a much better ending to my run.
I’ve been wondering, how often does this happen? We ask God for a specific thing and then he answers our prayer just as we requested, but we don’t take hold of the answer to our prayer because it’s hard or because it requires us to step out of our comfort zone.
We miss God’s blessing because we aren’t willing to take the leap required to accept the blessing. Missing the blessing doesn’t necessarily injure us, it doesn’t ruin our lives. But God chooses to give us exactly what we ask for if we would just take one uncomfortable step in faith to take hold of His blessing…and then, we refuse.
Watch for the yard signs. Those little glimpses of answered prayer that might require you to get a little uncomfortable or work a little harder or test your faith a little longer. Don’t miss out on living the abundant life that God wants to give you because you’re not willing to ask a stranger for a drink!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6