Holding On

This morning I ran my last two miles before the race on Saturday.  I took my iPod to work with me yesterday so I could have some music while I cleaned, dusted, and packed up my room.  Things were kind of crazy at the end of the day and I forgot to unplug the iPod and put it in my bag.  I’ve never run outside without music.  Music paces me.  Music inspires me.  Music keeps me going.

I was nervous and felt strangely “untethered” as I stepped out of the house at 5:30.  The sun is coming up earlier now, so the clouds were starting to “pink up.”  I found that encouraging.  I did my usual fast walk around the round-about to get out the kinks, did my stretches after that, and took off.

I liked the sound of my feet hitting the pavement and the bird song was amazing.  What I did NOT like was the sound of my asthmatic breathing.  I was not in distress.  I’m just a noisy breather, but normally the music does not allow me to hear myself.  Ignorance is bliss.  I was bothered by it for a while, and then I reminded myself that my breathing is always like that.  Years of asthma, a chest full of lymphoma and the chemo to kill it has resulted in noisy breathing.  It is only by God’s grace that I am breathing at all.  I decided to ignore the noise.

I started thinking about running on the treadmill.  On the treadmill I could hold on to the bar.  I needed to do that for balance at first.  Sometimes I even closed my eyes as I ran.  Going outside to run meant letting go of the bar.  I had to learn to run without holding on.  I was worried about running without the iPod this morning because I’ve been holding on to the music.  It occurred to me that this morning I was running without holding on at all.  Then it hit me:  I was finally running without holding on to anything, but all along I’ve only been able to run because God is holding on to me.  He’ll never let go. He is always there and completely dependable. I finished my run with tremendous  joy as I considered all the ways God holds on to me.  I don’t know how it will go on Saturday.  I certainly hope that I’ll be able to run the whole race without stopping to walk, but whatever happens, God will still be holding on.

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