“And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who brng good news!” –Romans 10:15
Hello fellow readers, it’s been a while. I hope you and your loved ones are doing well. I have been on another one of those “sabbaticals”. Just decided to take some time away from writing and focus on my faith, work, and relationships. Before you get too excited, when I say “relationships” I am referring to family, friends, and my fitness community, not the romantic kind. Anyway, now that we have cleared that up, you’re probably wondering, “Okay Sari, what does your picture of blue powder on cement have to do with a Bible verse?” I promise you fellow reader, if you power through this post with me it will connect, but first let me tell you a story.
Just the other day (yesterday) there was a community 5k taking place at our local park, since this race was to raise funds for a good cause and they had some very creative t-shirts I decided I would sign up. A very strong cup of espresso may have also played a major role in deciding to sign up for this race at 11:00 PM one Saturday night, but I digress. The point is I was signed up and I was ready to race, that is until a sweet friend mentioned she would also like to run the race. The runner and encourager in me was overjoyed at this idea and invited my friend to join me. She also signed up and we both suggested to one another that we would run the race for fun and do a run and walk. Fast forward to a few days later, and it was race day! To me this meant we would leisurely run the race but mainly walk it, it was a color run so I was ready to just have fun, my friend had a total different idea…
The race began, I quickly scrambled to put all of my belongings in my flip belt (also known as my kanga pouch) and set my fit bit to “run” mode. While I did all this, my friend took off and boy did she take off. She was about a good minute in front of me, I thought “surely she’ll slow down” but, I was mistaken. With my friend in front of me I decided to catch up with her.
But after a few strides I told her I was about to walk, thinking she would also stop and walk with me, but to my surprise she kept going. I was sad, I was upsest, but more than anything I was hurt – I felt “left behind”. After a good while, I decided to start running again but by then my mind was a tornado. The enemy of my soul had taken a foothold of my heart and mind, and I was under attack.
These were just some of the thoughts swarming in my head, and with every stride I felt like I was not advancing. Then the inner competitive me kicked in, and it was downhill from there. I started running faster and faster, my heart beating out of my chest, my legs burning with every stride, my core feeling strained from all that exertion, but I saw her and I knew I had to catch her. Now, here comes one my most un-proud moments and weakest too, because not only did I catch her (granted she waited for me at the water station) I confronted her, told her I was upset, and then I passed her. My irrational thought was, “she left me the first half now it’s my turn”.
I know what you are thinking, “Sari, that’s not okay. Where’s the kindness, the compassion, the friendship?” Trust me dear reader, it was there but I wasn’t listening I was wrestling. I wrestled my mind for what felt like 30 minutes which in actuality was only 1 minute. I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit, an inner voice within me beckoning me to stop and reconsider, but I let my hurt lead my actions. That is until…God intervened. Suddenly, I got smacked in the face with pink powder bringing me to a halt. I stopped, I knew the group who was throwing color powder at the runners so it wasn’t a big deal, we laughed it off and took a few pictures. But I knew God used this moment to slow me down and bring restoration to what I was thoughtlessly destroying – my bond with my friend. Quickly, I ran up to my friend and did my best to explain why I was upset, which actually only made it worse for a moment. Thankfully, we talked it out and realized it was all a misunderstanding of the terms “run and walk” what I perceived as a slow run she perceived as “a run and power walk” after all it was a race. Also, when I said “walk” she misheard as “run” so she thought I was about to kick up my pace a notch, so she also never left me behind. (She is an amazing friend, and I am lucky to have her in my life!) So, we hugged it out and I believe our friendship is actually stronger because of that minor “tiff”.
I share this, because how many of us can relate? How many of us can relate to a bad moment being the root of a misunderstanding and erupting into something more destructive? How many of us allow our emotions to lead our decisions, rather than let our decisions lead our emotions? How many of us are attacked by our own minds in moments of distress? It does not matter how often we may attend church, read our Bible, pray, lead a life group, we all fall short. I don’t say this to excuse our behavior or response in those “bad” moments, I share it to remind you as God reminded me to be kind to myself. To forgive myself just as much as we forgive others, which brings me to the picture of blue powder and the verse.
The following day, I met up with my morning running group and set out to run two miles. As I ran that morning I sought one thing “redemption”, but my redemption was geared towards improving my time from the day before…God’s idea of redemption turned out to be a lot sweeter. As my feet moved past the tinted powder residue on the cement, I kept being reminded of my short coming from the day before. I felt embarrassed by my immature behavior, and felt like I failed as a friend and as a woman of Faith. With every stride my body and feet grew heavier, my shoulders slumped, my gaze downward, and then suddenly I saw it… As I stared at the pavement, I noticed my foot prints. Wherever my foot landed it left an imprint on the tinted powder on the ground, not just that, my foot also left colored footprints as I continued to run. I was leaving a trail of my footprints behind, and that’s when it hit me.
Wherever our feet tread, a footprint is left behind. Which is a metaphor for wherever we go, we make an impact. The question is what type of footprint or impact do you wish to leave behind? Or are you leaving behind? Is it a positive one or negative? It is life breathing or death breathing?
In that moment, I knew I wanted to leave a positive trail behind me. I want my footprints to have purpose and make a positive impact in the lives of others, which lead me to the verse in Romans 10:15 “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”. So what does that mean to me? It means to strive to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. It means to take greater caution with my words and responses on a daily basis. It means to shed light that points to Christ that points others to Scripture, to the Church, to community groups, to health, to joy, to peace, to forgiveness, to life. And sometimes I will fall short, because Scripture tells me I will (Romans 3:23) and that’s okay because of God’s grace and He promises He will work all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called for His purpose (Romans 8:28). Just as He strengthened my friendship yesterday, and brought forth the important concept of communication, while also reminding me of the importance of an understanding compassionate heart, after all it was just a race.
So dear one, wherever you are I hope this post resonated with your soul. Perhaps, you have been too hard on yourself on your mistakes. Perhaps you have been wronged. Perhaps you are wrestling with inner thoughts from your past like I was during my race. Please know it’s okay, forgiveness is just one decision away. The Heavenly Father who loves you will embrace you, redirect you, comfort you, and bring peace to your heart, if you know Him call to Him, pray to Him, seek His direction, and if you don’t that’s okay. He knows you and is only a prayer away.
Thank you for powering through this post with me, remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made and cherished in every way by God. I appreciate you, until next time.