This is Part 2 of a two-part post. If you haven’t already, you may want to read Post 1 before reading on…
If you remember, we left off here:
My run involved ten minutes of semi-dodging wheelies, one sweaty hand holding my cell-phone timer, one hand scrolling through all 34 chapters of Deuteronomy before I could get to the next real song (which was a slow one anyway), and one jogging stroller running into the grass while I tried to push it with my forearms…
This was the routine that continued for a couple of weeks. One afternoon, after a 25-minute run, I was making my way back along the busy road to our home. Every ten feet or so I would have to pull off to the side of the road while a car or two came speeding by in the lane closest to me. Lydia was eagerly asking to get out of the stroller to “run with you!”, which can’t happen until we are off the busy road and closer to the house. I was hot and tired and wishing for a longer stretch between cars so I didn’t have to keep exerting all my energy to roll the girls into the grass and wait for more traffic to pass. I wanted to get home, get clean, and get some water.
Then I saw in the distance a red truck pulling a noisy trailer. I continued walking along the side of the road with my eyes glued to the truck, waiting until the last minute to pull off into the grass again. Just as the truck closed in on that particular distance when I have to turn off my path, the driver changed lanes. He turned his big truck and trailer into the left-most lane and zoomed by at a safe distance so that I wouldn’t have to pull off into the grass.
He made my day. I was so happy I didn’t have to do any wheelies or take any breaks. I just kept walking on that skinny bike lane on the side of the road. And, as I rejoiced in that little blessing I was struck by my attitude change. I was still making an inconvenient trek from the trail where I could safely run, but I was rejoicing in a blessing instead of sulking over the inconvenience.
There were so many factors about my runs that I was considering “halfway blessings”.
The stroller that allowed me to go running…but didn’t maneuver well.
The cell phone that kept time…but was hard to see and couldn’t strap to my wrist.
The charged mp3 player that gave me good running music…but a whole lot of other content too.
The running trail that allowed me to run without stopping for cars…but the distance I had to walk to get to it.
The sidewalk that made my trek a little easier…but was only five houses long.
The red truck with a trailer that came zooming by…but changed lanes so I wouldn’t have to stop.
It is so easy to focus on the half of my circumstances that aren’t what I want them to be. But how much happier it is to focus on the “blessing half”. Isn’t that true all throughout life? The grass is greener on the other side, where the stroller wheels swivel and the sidewalks don’t end. But watching that “greener” grass grow does nothing but leave me grumpy and unthankful.
Thankfulness. It’s been a theme lately, and I feel like I’m just learning the same lessons over and over again in different ways. But even as I write this I think…
I’m learning to be thankful…but I’m just going to have to learn again.
I’m so glad God doesn’t give up on me.