We have established I love to run marathons, I loved running XC, and I loved pole vaulting but frankly it should be understood that I hate the 400 Meter Dash. In track my goal was to never run longer than 100 meters or the length of the runway which ever was shortest but at times my coach had a different idea. Mr. Freeman, in his wisdom or sick sense of humor, would make the pole vaulters run the 4 X 400 meter relay at the end of a meet – Pole Vaulters. (To Mr. Freeman’s defense we had a quick group of vaulters)
The 400 meters, you run for one lab around the blasted track as fast as you can. As a marathoner I laugh at the distance until I remember sprinting the whole thing and then everything changes. The first 100 meters is a run in heaven as I turn the corner in 11 seconds sure of my ability to give the same effort for 300 more. Then at the 200, somewhere around 23 seconds, I realize I’m just 1/2 way into the ugliness. I start to panic, but not extremely, because it is just 200 more meters…then it happens. I hit the last corner to the straightaway and my body says STOP YOU’RE NUTS. My arms start moving into positions God never intended and certainly don’t resemble running form, my head mysteriously tilts to the side and my month opens to ghastly proportions, my legs have 500 lbs weights attached, my bowels proclaim it is time to “go”, and then everything moves in slow motion as people pass me to the finish. I hate the 400!
As I reflect on the horror of the 400 meters I know in life we have those same moments when the last 50 meters are exhausting and everything is going in slow motion. It is in those moments when I remember where my hope, strength, and peace come from – they don’t come from a bottle, a pill, a extramarital affair, but hope, strength, and peace come in with true relationship with Jesus. The Bible says he will give me strength for the hard times, peace during crazy, and joy when it doesn’t seem possible. I hate the 400 but I sure love Jesus.