“Back when I was a child we had to walk to school, in the snow, uphill BOTH ways!” Has anyone heard that one? My husband likes to tell a similar story to our kids as a way of saying, “Hey, you’ve got it easy, quit complaining!”
My run this morning had a similar tone to it. As I set out, I heard the voice of my old cross-country coach saying, “Let’s go run some hills today”. Cringing, I remembered how I used to actually enjoy running those hills back then. I’ve never been fast. I would just out last ‘em, and hills were my chance! I remember our district race was the hardest route of the whole year. Hills spotted the entire 2 miles, with the biggest one sitting 100 yards from the finish line. You could hear the crowd ½ a mile away cheering the girls on as they raced up that hill. Many medals were won and lost there.
Growing up we lived out at Holly Lake Ranch. A little wooded seclusion amidst exciting timeshare amenities. That’s where I learned hills. Jogging with my granddaddy in those days took us up some giants, so I just thought hills were a normal part of the sport. Fast forward to today, I honestly prefer the level ground of Mineola. You have to search to find some hills here. Well, today, I found them! I took a left where I usually take a right and ran down and down, at least a mile until finally I turned around. I laughed at the situation I was in. To go further on meant up hill, and to turn around meant, UP HILL! So, looks like up hill it is!
You see, hills reveal what you’re really made of. This is when it’s time to implement all those coaching lessons you’ve heard. You also realize your gaps – where you still need work.
Aren’t there times in life that no matter where you go, it’s uphill both ways? Someone once coined it a “catch 22” or to be explicit, “*@*@ if you do, *@*@ if you don’t”. I guess it’s actually rare to actually please all parties involved, but isn’t that what we try to do? Conflict usually isn’t the goal!
Running up that hill, I had my head down and all I focused on was the road in view from the brim of my hat down to my feet. I was thanking God for the up-hills in life, because they breed endurance and endurance breeds character. I desire to be a woman of character. The infamous James 1:2-4 fits beautifully here. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish is work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Have you ever met a kid who had all the answers but had never run up any hills? The one you tell, “Come talk to me in 10 years!” The testing of our faith (a.k.a HILLS!) develops perseverance (a.k.a MATURITY!) Without it, we’re like a wet noodle handshake.
Life is full of up-hill battles. Be encouraged. One step at a time. Do not try to measure how long this hill will last, but instead, continually thank the Lord for His strength, and how He’s overcome many hills before and this one will be no different. Even when it’s up-hill both ways, He will finish what He started. Remember, medals are won and lost on the hills.