Okay, so this is another exercise/writing post. I can't help myself. It's that or talk about my kids and husband. If I get started on that, I'll never stop, because they take up a huge portion of my life and thought processes. I mean, the first thing I thought when I got up this morning (at 6 a.m) wasn't "Lord, please give me something meaningful to write today". It was, "Lord, please give me more patience with my kids, because if they spend today bickering like they did yesterday I will be forced to do something desperate. Like put them each in a room with books, food, water, and absolutely no contact with siblings!"
See? They are my life. And well they should be. But I'm a writer, too, and this is a writing blog. Therefore, I will blog about writing. Seeing as how I am an out of shape writer, exercise often gets mixed in.
And we all know how much I LOVE exercise.
But, I'm blabbering on and you're wondering, "when is she going to get to the point?"
Right now. Really.
Yesterday, I was in pain. Serious pain. I've started this new exercise tape and it's insane. Squats. Lunges. Not good for someone with bad knees. So, my legs hurt, but my knees hurt more. That deep, yucky ache in the bones that won't go away no matter how many Tylenol I pop. Standing hurt. Sitting hurt. Lying down hurt. Sleeping was difficult and uncomfortable. All day long, I kept thinking, "this isn't worth it. Exercising isn't worth it. In shape isn't worth it. Thin isn't worth it."
And right then, at that moment, it seemed like it wasn't. Today, in the light of the new day, with less pain and a slight change in the shape of my body (thanks to three weeks of almost every day exercise), I have a different perspective. It might hurt now, but in a month it won't. In a month, I'll be a little lighter, a little slimmer, a little more powerful than I am today. On my birthday in December, I'll be close to what I was BK (before kids). And that's going to feel incredible.
Thinking that brought to mind Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Not just the race, but the race marked out for us.
If you're reading this, part of the race God has marked for you probably involves writing. I'd be lying if I said the road to publication is easy, that it never leads to that bone-deep ache that makes sitting, standing, sleeping difficult. It does. Critiques can hurt. Rejection can hurt. Reviews can hurt. Doors swing open, only to close again. Our very best effort may be met by callous form letters. There will be days when we'll feel (published or not) that we're not sure we want to do this any more. That the pain, frustration, and aggravation just aren't worth it.
When that happens, we've got to set our eyes on the finish line. Though it may be out of sight, around a bend, up the steepest slope we've ever seen, it's there. We've just got to keep running, limping, crawling toward it. I think when we reach it, it'll be much grander than we ever imagined. Because, in the end, it will be more about completing the race than winning it.