Last year I signed up to run a 5k with my mom in November that supported our local chapter of CASA (www.casaforchildren.org). Little did I know when I registered that I would soon after be involved in a car accident that fractured my tailbone. I had to stop running for awhile while I healed, but decided to show up and run the race with my mom anyway.
It was 35 degrees the morning of the race. I hadn’t been able to run in almost 2 months and my fracture didn’t seem to be healing properly. I had told my mom I would do it with her though and was committed to finishing the race with her (secretly I was hoping I could convince her to walk). It was clear about 3 minutes in that I wasn’t going to be able to run with her. My tailbone seemed to only hurt worse because of how cold it was and I was in pretty bad pain. So my mom took off without me while I started walking. Even walking hurt that morning though, so I ended up venturing off the trail and finding a secluded bench where I could sit. When my mom had about 200 yards left to run, I got up and ran to the finish line with her. All total I only completed about half of the race but didn’t really care since the registration fee went to a good organization.
We hung around after the race for the awards ceremony. My sister and nephew had run that morning also and were excited to see if they won any awards. When they announced the winners for my age category, my entire family was shocked when they heard my name for 1st place. I actually laughed out loud and the poor announcer thought I was laughing at his mispronunciation of my last name. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t even complete the entire race but somehow ended up going home with a 1st place medal. Apparently, no one else in my age group showed up that morning. No one but me.
I learned an important lesson that morning. It would have been easy to use my injury as an excuse and sleep in instead of waking up at 6:30 on a Saturday to attempt to run. I could have told my mom that I couldn’t go with her. But I chose to show up. And because I did, my miserable attempt to finish the course was still rewarded.
Too many times in life we choose to sit out because we don’t feel good enough, we feel like we are still too broken, or we are just too afraid. We wait for the “right” moment when we will feel whole and ready, but the reality is that we will never feel completely prepared for what God is calling us to do. Following Christ is about being uncomfortable, stretched, and not feeling ready but showing up anyway. It’s in the sacredness of our brokenness that His glory is revealed through us. His grace is most beautifully expressed when “His strength is made perfect in our weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Do you have something you feel called to do but don’t feel prepared for? Just show up! The reward will surprise you.