Since therefore we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...
I'm having a bad week. You wouldn't know it by looking at me, I don't tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Rather, I guard it close, focus externally and keep the internal animal caged. To that end, I have no idea why exactly I'm writing this. Actually, I know exactly why I am writing this. 140.6 is a long way to travel. Beyond that, god willing 50 or so more years will be a long way to travel. I have a lot of weights to lay aside, and they are making me tired. Sometimes the best way to put aside weights is to shed some light into the darkest recesses of your mind. It's a difficult task to clean the attic when no one can see what they are doing. Sometimes it is useful to ask for some help.
And so, my training buddies, I'm having a bad week. A bad week is nightmares, and day terrors. It's a mind that won't stop, that won't settle. Its a chemical cocktail of trama and childhood nightmares that flood my brain and soul. The toughest thing about these weeks, which thank god are rare, is that I just want to hide in the corner of my room in a drunken stupor until the nightmares pass. So, if for no other reason I am thankful for training because training says "no alcohol except wine and light beer" therefore no drunken stupor. Well, and The Tribe deserves a sober, in tune mom. I love them, they are a gentle summer rain for a thirsty soul. I don't like drunken stupor, I don't really even like drunk. I like life. I'm thankful for the life I've been given. I suppose that is why I don't want to squander it on "poor me I'm a victim, feel sorry for me blah blah" But weeks like these are bad.
I haven't spoken to my own mother for 11 years. This makes me angry. It is my choice, but it makes me angry. It took just a small handful of "no, don't talk to me" to silence her. Within a year-silence. She has four grandkids that live ten miles away-silence for them too. Now this is the woman who use to beat me senseless and lock me in a locker in the basement for the night because I "pissed her off" and she wanted to sit around and get drunk with her friends. When you are 8 the first 15 minutes of hide and seek can be scary-wondering if the seeker will come looking for you. 15 hours is downright terrifying. Especially the second and third time, because you know what is coming. 8 year olds still don't do so well on the time space continuum-so there isn't much rational thought available. My own mom didn't look for me when I was 8, and 11 years of silence are a deafening reminder of why. The brain tends to store up a lot of that chemical and releases it at the most unwanted of times. Like when you are 38 and have four kids of your own. Then, in weeks like these, the chemicals get spilled, and the memories release, and you live somewhere between here and there, and you move forward in the midst of the present day's homework, and snow days and laundry and dinner, and the past day's bruises, and betrayal, and isolation and abandonment. All the while you focus forward. Focus on the race, knowing that a new day will come and there will be a little less chaos and a little more focus.
Focus is hard to come by in bad weeks. But I know to get to the end, I can't carry all of this.
I have to keep runninng in this race given to me and so
"Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble."
When someone hurts you, be it intentionally or otherwise, they throw another weight around your neck to carry. Sometimes those weights are easy to lay aside, some things are easy to forgive. But sometimes the hurt cuts in with a jagged knife, and leaves ugly and infected. I had a crappy, cruel mom who left alot of jagged wounds. I'll be damned if I plan to carry her weights for 140.6, let alone 50 years. 38 is more than enough. So, in that alone, bad weeks have hope, because bad weeks tell you that there are wounds and weights. And the Creator who sent those words tell me there is healing and hope. I just need to get through this bad week and by his grace hopefully weigh a little less when I'm done. That would be some meaningful weight loss. (which is good because there is nothing quite like a pan of brownies when you are trying to avoid drunken stupor)
I have a 2.5 hour run to manage now, thanks for your ear