Running Circles Around the Old Man

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The other night I ran with every one of my four younger children. I ran with Matt my 15 year old for about six steps before he took off and left the old man in the dust. I ran with John for about a mile before he headed off to find Matt; guess he needed a challenge. Then six year old Gracie was feeling left out so we ran around the circle together before she took it to the house; outside is not her favorite.

Then there is Caleb, who has a healthy desire to be like his older brothers. Since neither one of us can keep up with them; we chose to run the circle several times together. This was interesting, fun and educational. Caleb took off sprinting in front of me. But he did not just run, he skipped, he jumped and most of all he smiled. For this guy running was not a chore to stay healthy or a sport to see how fast he could go. It was just fun to run with his dad and be outside.

Caleb had me laughing as he jumped, twisted and hoped around the circle. I was a bit fearful he might fall but there was no way I was going to tell him to stop all that extra activity and just run. A good father knows when to let it go.
Sure enough though it did happen, as Caleb was doing a circle in front of me he hit the side of a yard, lost his footing and fell to the concrete sidewalk. He fell hard and I was concerned he might have hurt himself. I picked him up, carefully checked for scraps and made sure he had survived the fall physically.

But it was the mental I was more worried about. How would this stumble affect him? Would he want to run with me again? Would he smile, jump and enjoy himself like he had? Would he stop running all together?

As I awaited his next move, Caleb fought back a few tears, checked the red scrape on his knee and……got back to running, jumping, laughing and smiling. I was most pleased with his decision and attitude after a fall.

We all fall, we all trip up; our response is what defines who we will be. Let us learn some things about God from our friend Caleb’s response.

We all fail/fall at some time or another that is a fact. Don’t let that fact keep you from enjoying the journey. Too many people keep waiting for the fall and do not enjoy the majority of life filled with joyful moments. Enjoy the moments God gives you.
Fall’s hurt. No doubt hitting the concrete was painful; there were bumps and scrapes from Caleb’s tumble. Pain is a part of life, not a fun part but a part none the less. Don’t hide your pain give it to God. (1 Peter 5:7)

Let the Father pick you up. Caleb did not fight me watching over him, checking him out. As a matter of fact he gladly allowed me to make sure he was okay. Many people fight God’s inspection of our hurts, thus slowing the process of healing. As a matter of fact, if we attempt to move on without allowing the Lord to assist us, we add to our hurts instead of allowing God to heal them. Take time to heal before moving on. (It’s hard to jump and twist if your limping)

Don’t let your short term pain affect your long term outlook. Many a person has packed it in because of a failure, heartache or misstep. Those who call it quits often turn bitter and lose the joy of life. They spend the rest of their days disengaged in fear of being hurt. That is exactly what the enemy wants and exactly what God would not want. Brush yourself off, deal honestly with the pain and get going…..

As you do look back; that person you see smiling will be the Heavenly Father, He will be most pleased with your decision.

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14, “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.”
The Message by Eugene Peterson

Prayer: Lord, Help us to have the freedom to enjoy life with the knowledge that you are in it with us; joy or pain. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

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