I ran track in high school. It was one of the most challenging but rewarding things I've ever done. I competed in several events but my favorite were the hurdles. I picked up hurdles later on in my track career but fell in love with them quickly. There are two races I will never forget. The very first race I ever ran and one of the the last races I ever ran.
My first hurdle race was at a smaller school. So small that they didn't have a paved track but rather a makeshift gravel one. When it reached time for the race to begin runners took their positions. We heard the gun pop and leaped out of our blocks. I flew over the first hurdle, sprinted, then began to leap for the second hurdle when, tragically, my trail leg clipped the hurdle. I flew awkwardly into the air, skinning my knees, and falling flat on my face. I could hear the crowd's grimace and shock on my way down. All of this occurred in a time frame of about 16 seconds. It's extremely hard to explain this part, as I can't quite describe what happened. I never stopped to think, look down at my knees, or falter. Immediately I bolted up and began racing, yet still with an aggressive determination to win. I passed one, two, three, four races this time I could here the crowd cheering. Passing two more runners I approached the finishing line winning the race. It wasn't until completing the race that I had even begun to feel the sting on my knees.
Several months later I would be faced with a race as unforgettable: championships. Dated as far back as was kept on file, our rival school had always managed to score the highest on hurdle races. This year in particular the hurdler was breaking records, on championship day I was to face her. There are three rounds: preliminary, first round, then the final. I remember telling myself to just do my best and have fun. I ran the preliminary well placing and setting a personal record. It was time for the first round. I had the same energy and motivation. As the race started I could feel that I was doing the best I'd ever had. I was approaching my rival, yet I just could not seem to pass her. I finished the first round second and she first. On the side line coach encouraged me giving me tips and proud that I had, for the first time, used three steps in between hurdles rather than the usual five. Yet I wasn't happy. I was frustrated, disappointed. I an my bed and sill wasn't able to even pass her. I stared he final nervous, unconfident, scared. I ran he final with one of my worst times. A week after the event photos from the day were released. A photo of myself and my rival during the first round race was taken. We were nearly neck for neck. I remember saying, "Wow, I had no idea I was that close to her. It seemed so far away."
I psyched myself out. I allowed my thoughts and fears to predict my next steps, but if I had used the same attitude I had my very first race the outcome would have been entirely different.
The phrase "fear not" is stated 365 times in scripture. That's one for every day of the year. It is the most repeated command in the Bible.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”
I think our Father knew how crippling fear can be. Moving from a place of fear could change the trajectory of your choices as it did mine in that race. Today, I choose to be reminded to have no fear.
Abundantly With Love,
The Anonymous Wife