I awoke in the middle of the night from a dream which, while seemingly unrealistic, I knew I must share with you.
In my dream, I entered a gymnasium-style room full of runners. Each person in the room was wearing sneakers and stretching in preparation for an imminent run.
In the next scene of my dream, the runners were all seated, and I was addressing them as a group. I was encouraging each of them to find a person or a small group with whom they synchronized well; they were then asked to run together. As I was encouraging them to run the race well and see that no one was left behind, I woke - and I was actually chanting "Run together!" out loud.
In waking, it seems such a relevant message for all of us! Whatever your struggle is in life, find someone who is running the same track as you.
Do you find parenting small children exhausting? Find another couple or a play group you can join once a week for a time of sharing stories and feeling less alone in the battle. Are you struggling in your marriage? Find a counselor or a marriage mentor who can adjust your pace and help you conquer the track. Do you battle with mental health issues? Join a support group or seek out someone who is on the same journey.
When you seek your running partner, do not worry about the pace they are running or how seasoned they are. Perhaps some have many miles on you, or appear to be nearer to the finish line. Did you know that sometimes runners get "lapped"? This means, while they appear to be closer to the finish line, they've been passed or "lapped" by other runners on the track. Sometimes the people we assume have it all together are really struggling the most.
Each of us should find, and seek to be, a runner who will adjust their pace. The runner who gets the prize knows when to run at full speed and when to hold back. This is knowledge we need to share with each other. Let me share some examples:
Seasoned mothers in my life have certainly lent valued advice on when to have the hard discussions with my teenagers and when to stand back and let them learn. Marriage mentors have taught me to draw my boundaries carefully with my husband: what changes I can request, and what changes must be prompted by the Holy Spirit. Even in my career, I have learned from my professional mentor how to dress for the job I want - not the job I have; this advice has promoted me on more than one occasion.
Each of us has something to contribute to another. Each of us has something to learn from another. In today's world, where loneliness and suicide are rampant, how important it is for us to find others running the same race! We must adjust our pace, link arms with each other, and run together! Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT) says it this way: "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed."
That is our mandate: to help one another be successful. When someone partners with me in my personal success, it makes me feel loved and valued. Who wouldn't want to be that person for someone else?!
Is there some way I can help you run today, friend? Do you need someone to stretch you into a more confident version of you? Do you need someone to run beside you, in the form of a weekly coffee date or actual telephone call? Do you see me falling behind on my track, and have some words of wisdom to help me reach my goal? Leave a comment to let me know how we can run together!