I did another mud run. No surprise. This one was different from the last. It had more run and less mud. The first was put on by professional mud run people. They had all the inflatables, all the slippery slide, all the foam machines. This one was put on by people who had a passion and an idea. They had black plastic, garden hoses and some slimy stuff. The first had thousands of runners, the second hundreds. However, each had its own positives and each its own negatives. I choose not to make to more comparisons. In both, we ran and got muddy. I like, no I love, doing them.
Yesterday's run, as I said, was more run. There were some long section of just running. So it was with the last kilometer. I am not a runner. I run to get from obstacle to obstacle. Just before the 4K marker was one such obstacle, a "spider web" made of bungy cord. Most went under it, I went over. As I finished the young man running it said, "It is actually easier to crawl under it."
My response, "I didn't pay all this money to do it the easy way."
"I like you attitude."
That is why I don't go around any of the challenges, I might not go through the middle, or the deepest (though usually I try). Anyway back to the point. From the 4K spider web until the 5K finish there were only a run/walk/limp/get-out-of-the-way-of-faster-runner journey through the woods. I was muddy and wet. My feet were starting to hurt and my knees were reminding me I was doing this on my 61st birthday. Alex Newman was five minutes ahead of me with two of my grandchildren and Jeanne Blanton behind me the same distance with the other two. So for however long it took me to go 1K, up and down the hills and through the wood, I was basically alone. People ran by, passing politely. There were times when I could hear others, and the faint sound of the announcer in the distance, but it was me, myself, and I. It was time to think (mostly about how blessed I am to be doing this day with six grandkids, my daughter and son-in-law, friends, and the love of my life). A couple of times I wondered why. But mostly I felt a sense of accomplishment. Not just about the run, though that was so satisfying. Not just about being there with family and friend, though that brought a tear to my eye. It was all that and more. It was because it was a birthday. It was kids, or friends, and the money we helped raise for clean water. Whatever it was, all this and more, it was the satisfying sense accomplish. We did a good thing, for others and for ourselves.
On our spiritual journey we have so many challenges, so many mud holes, so many long runs, that we feel like we aren't getting very far. People pass us, we want to quit, we are tired, dirty, thirsty, and hungry. Days when we are along, and lonely. Yet there are day when it all makes a some sense. We realize that we have come along ways. Sometimes we get a glimpse of that day when Jesus says to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." It is a day of accomplishment.