Thursday, September 19, 2013

Literal Obedience at the Finish Line

Jackson and Tyson ran their first cross country race today.  Tyson asked what place he should come in; I told him it didn't matter, but he should just run his hardest.

One of my best friends growing up always told me her father said that if she didn't throw up at the end of a race then she wasn't running her hardest.  I always thought that was pretty intense; but as a joke, I told Jackson and Tyson that they would know they ran their hardest if they threw up at the end.

My two young boys gathered at the start line amongst 110 other boys ages 11-14.  I revved my boys and their teammates up by assuring them that pain was ok, so they could run with all they had.  I said a lot of prayers that my boys would feel good about their runs.

The gun went off, and I could see them running their hearts out.  We all ran to different check points to encourage them.  I always tear up when I watch my kids AND other people's kids running because they are so young and putting so much effort into their race.  I especially love the final stretch to the finish line because their faces are so full of intensity.

Jackson rounded the final corner before Tyson did, and I could tell he was giving everything he had.  We all screamed for his success.  He crossed the finish line... and promptly threw up.  Several people rushed to his aid; I couldn't help him right away because Tyson was running in about a minute behind him, and I needed to cheer him on as well.  Jackson finished 3rd from the runners on their team, and Tyson finished 4th on their team.  They are both champions, and they both ran their fastest times.

When I finally met up with both boys, Jackson said he couldn't feel his legs at the end and his stomach started to hurt very badly.  He reported that he was tempted to walk out the pain, but instead he pushed harder.  He fought through the pain until he finished!  Boy did he!!  I didn't really want him to throw up, but I knew he had put his all into his run.

Jackson wants to do everything right.  He tries so hard and really wants to be the best that he can be.  A couple of weeks ago we went on a training run.  When I told him he could have run faster, he said he wanted to go back out that night and run again so it would be his best.  I thoroughly convinced him that  it was not necessary.

Last year when he ran cross country in Michigan, our bishop's son was running on the team with Jackson.  At the first race, his son beat him by quite a distance.  Before the next race, I told Jackson to stay with the bishop's son because he would be a good pacer for him.  Do you know that my sweet Jackson stayed with him for the rest of the season?  There is something inside this young man that he takes his obedience very literally.

I pondered on Jackson's literal obedience.  As I pondered this, I felt God asking me:  "Could you be more literal in your obedience?"  I'm such a free spirit; I sometimes have a hard time wanting anyone to tell me what to do or where to be.  On one hand that's a good quality because it takes women like me who step outside the box to open other's eyes to brighter possibilities... like marrying outside my race. :-) On the other hand, I could tame that free spirit with some more literal obedience.

I thought about this more... In what areas does God want me to be more literal in my obedience?  Many ideas come to mind, but I have a feeling that more answers will come as I visit the temple tonight.  I'm on a journey to better myself!