Monday, October 14, 2013

The Last One Picked For P.E.

3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade I was the last chosen in P.E. To this day I can’t say it was a bad thing. I just wasn’t an athlete, wasn’t popular, wasn’t pretty. Having asthma certainly didn’t help either. Truth is I’d have rather been reading than playing sports. That’s probably why I grew up enjoying solo sports like hiking and cycling.

Are there days that I wish I had normal lungs and excellent speed. Certainly. I can ride or hike forever. The hiking I can do at a good clip if I need to though not the cycling. There are moments, riding with others, that the frustration turns to anger at things I can’t control and genes I had no choice in inheriting. Still I’m more the tortoise than the hare so I keep plodding along knowing I’ll finish—just not in record time.

I think it’s forced me to choose camaraderie over contest. If I am going to go along with you on a bike ride or a hike I won’t be racing. I try not to enter contests I can’t win. If you ride with me you ride for the shared experience. Perhaps that is God teaching you something. Sometimes it’s about ministering to that slower guy even though your time is going to suck. Still maybe your heart will improve in the process.

I suspect a greater design in all of this. Even if I used EPO or steroids I’d be the slowest guy on the course. These physical and emotional challenges force me to evaluate what’s important. My prowess doesn’t allow for pride. I have to recognize that I will always be slower. I still won’t be the first one picked. I am forced to choose quality over quantity, slogging along rather than racing. I’m better at the long race than the sprint—and that’s what life is like anyway, isn’t it?

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