Stay Put

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Straight up

Every year that I’ve ran cross country for Manchester there have always been some things that the team does pretty consistently. Things like pasta parties, Cici’s trips, traveled out of town for a race, ran somewhere that we wern’t allowed to, you name it. Another thing that you could count on us doing every year was the classic “Amelia Run.” The team would take a school bus out to Amelia County on a nice summer morning and drop us off in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Then the bus would leave us and park 7 miles up on this empty country road.

Being in the country, some of the people that lived around the area let their dogs roam free. 99% of the time this isn’t very positive news for runners, but there was one dog that different. A black lab would sprint from the front porch of this rancher that was located just off the road about a mile into our run, and start running beside us. As crazy as it seemed, the dog just kept running and running and running with us.

About 5 miles into the run it was just me and the dog. When you are running for a long time it’s always nice to have a partner, so this dog was doing just the job. I wasn’t acknowledging the dog in any way during the run, but having him by my side was without a doubt, encouraging. Then, with about a mile left to run, the dog stopped and I was left to finish the run on my own. I was pretty bummed, because first of all, I thought it would have been cool for the dog to do the whole run with me, but ultimately I felt like I was kinda left hanging by a dog that I thought was committed to me in a sense.

I felt like this is kind of how many of us are when we are trying to connect or witness to people. We talk with them, we share with them, we connect with them, we make the extra effort to reach out to them, but its only for a short season. We see that the people we’re reaching out to are not recognizing us so we give up. 

I know that when I was running, although I didn’t acknowledge the dog, or thank him, or whatever, I was just glad that he was with me for the journey. And I think that although people won’t go out of their way to thank you or acknowledge you, that your presence and your service is truely making an impact in their life. And when we give up on people, without a doubt, they will notice it.

So find that person in your life that you’ve kind of lost connection with and really try to reach out to them, but this time, stay put, because your faithfulness and consistency can and will change their life.

  1. Francine says:

    Long distance running is so different from the sprint. Christ calls us to the long haul and your words affirm that we are to encourage one another so we can finish well.

    Blessed by your insight!

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