Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hurdles

Well, it's Thursday. I bet you weren't expecting to see my blog today. Not that I can blame you...I do have a pretty horrendous track record for saying I'm going to do something and then not doing it.
Even so, I'm not above doing one of these for the doubters:

Neener neener boo boo

And now that I've gotten that out of the way......

I am very excited to report that I was able to use my fancy journal jar today. I'm so sad that I still can't show it to you. Seriously, I think Blogger hates uploading my images. I thought I was going to be able to pull a sneaky one on it and upload the images from my Facebook account, but they wanted to me to make the pictures public first. And I am just not comfortable sharing my images with a bunch of random crazies.
(As she writes a blog that everyone and their dog can see. Oh the irony.)

But going back to jar--just know that it is made from a mason jar with burlap, denim, and a crystal knob. I know...southern crafting at its finest. I even found pieces of burlap scrapbook paper to write my topics on.
Go on, y'all. Feel free to swoon a little.



Okay, now that I have gotten us totally off track, here's my first attempt at providing insight into a randomly selected topic. (We just won't harp on the fact that I put the first one I drew back into the jar because I didn't like it. Ha!)
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Hurdles

I have always been a sucker for a good running analogy. What can I say? They hit home for me. This past Sunday, my pastor was talking about answering your call to service, and he compared it to a hurdles race. His lesson went a little like this:
Imagine you are a runner in the hurdle event. The starting gun is fired. You take off full speed ahead. You charge past the other racers. And then you come to your first hurdle and you stop dead in your tracks.
What happens then? Are you disqualified? No---You're still in the race. You are probably just not going to win.

I am a much better runner now than I was growing up. I did compete in track and field, but I was too afraid to do events with hurdles because I can hardly step over a crack in the sidewalk without tripping over it. (So instead I competed in the high jump. Again with the irony.) Even so, I remember trying my round at the things a time or two when I was practicing--either when I was by myself or with my closer friends that already knew what a goober I was.

Hurdles are the devil. I remember running toward them, and about halfway there I would start to worry that my jump was not going to time with my stride, and the height, and the distance...and I was oh-so-crappy at math and this was starting to seem a lot like Geometry. (Or maybe it was Physics. I was horrible at that too.) So I would slow down and kind of do this ridiculous-looking pony skip over the bar and then keep running until I would get to the next one. Slow down. Pony skip. Repeat.

On the next to last hurdle, I was midway through my pony skip when I smacked the ever-lovin' caca out of my shin. Oh help me, Lord Jesus. With tears in my eyes, I limped to the next hurdle and I stopped. I breathed. I pony skipped over the next one...and I smacked the ever-lovin' caca out my shin again! SAME SPOT! But thank you, Lord Jesus, I was finished. And I left those hurdles wiser, and only slightly more bruised.

Real life hurdles are not quite so hilarious. And I feel like I've been coming up on them left and right, especially in my job search. The problem with these hurdles is that they smack the ever-lovin' caca out of my confidence instead of my shins. Every time I feel like I'm making a break on a straight and picking up speed, another one of those suckers comes out of the ground to slow me down. And I promise you, if you get the ever-lovin' caca smacked out of you enough times, eventually you don't even bother to take it slow anymore. You just stop.

You have to wonder if God puts these hurdles in our way to test our strength and resolve, because we can do all things. Or to say, "Trust Me enough to let Me carry you over them," because His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. Or maybe, what I think is a hurdle is actually a big fat roadblock, because He has made my paths straight.

I guess the only way to know for sure is to just keep running. And to trust that even if I wind up a little bruised, at least I will finish a little wiser.

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