Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not Until You Have Run that Path

It's amazing how flat a path looks, until you run it!  I look for new running paths all the time while I'm driving and recently decided to try a new one.  It looked flat, which was very appealing for the last leg of my route.  So I tried it, and what appeared to be easy and flat from the comfort of my car, was actually a very long and subtle incline.  I thought I had picked the easy route but ended up with a giant, never ending hill.  Its all about perspective. Let me just add that I was also pushing my 30 pound son in a stroller with the wind blowing against me the whole time.  What a great work out it turned out to be, but it wasn't at all what I expected.

How often have we in life made judgements on someone or something, from our comfortable and slightly removed positions?  We assume someone is making the wrong choice.  Or we don't understand why they are struggling because what they are doing appears to be so easy.  But it isn't until we park our car, strap on our running shoes, and run their path that we can truly understand.  We judge the woman as weak who reconciles with her cheating husband; or if she leaves we criticize her for not giving God the opportunity to heal.  We call a single mother a bad parent when she gives in to her child in the grocery store.  To those with substance abuse issues we question why they just don't stop; after all can't they see they are destroying their life?  And God forbid someone file for a divorce... we question how they could do such a horrible thing to their children.

Perhaps you haven't run any of those paths.  Thank God!  Literally, thank God that you haven't felt the pain, the hurt, and the wind blowing against you.  But I have!  And I encountered some serious judgement from other Christians: leadership, friends, and family.  While many of them didn't ever say their disapproval of my choices, they didn't need to.  Here I was running up this long and steady incline, wind blowing against me, pushing a stroller after running 4 miles already, and from the SUV, driving on cruise control, on the road I hear: "Run faster!  Can't you see how easy and flat it is?"  It doesn't make sense does it?

So I challenge you today.  Before you assume to know what you would do in a situation, before you judge a fellow Christian's decisions, stop! Pray for them.  Likely there is something you don't see.  I couldn't see that incline from the road- but it was there! And it wasn't until I ran that path that I understood.

With the path's I've run in life,  I've experienced more than one woman should ever have to.  But I find hope in this: I can strap on my shoes, and run along side a sister in Christ.  I can be her listening ear.  I can give her encouragement, because I know how hard the hill is she is climbing. I'm excited to see God open doors for me to share my story in an even greater and more personal way.  Why?  Because if life has happened to you, and you find yourself pushing up that hill, I want to be there and run it with you!


  1. Beautifully said and it also applies so well to widows.

  2. reflectionsfrommyporchswing, absolutely applies to widows. No really understands our unique situation and challenges. That is why I am so grateful to be part of the online widow community, and to educate others about our situation.