It's funny when he gives out, he just stops and hunkers down in the road. It's not that he slows down to a very slow walk and then stops. No, he goes from a little wiener dog run with little legs just a moving to a dead stop in an instant. It is as if his weight doubles or triples when he hunkers down. He actually feels heavier as I try to coax him to go just a bit further. There is no coaxing him to move another muscle, even that tail that wags so freely, ceases its constant motion. And so, I pick him up, and carry him the last mile. Not long after I have picked him up, that tail starts to wagging again, and he usually looks up at me to try to give me a "thank you" lick.
My running is for no other reason that to clear my head and pray. Oh, yes, the exercise is an added benefit, but really it is the clarity of mind I get when I run, that I have come to love. I have a mind that gets distracted easily. I used to journal my prayers, then in my early 40's I discovered running, and how easy it was to concentrate mentally, since when I run, pretty much the only thing in my mind is drawing that next breath. So running -short distances-became something I look forward to. If I am training for a race, like Ragnar- (yay Ragnar!), I don't take my little dog, although, (and you many laugh), he starts out running at a really really fast pace. Seriously, faster than mine, which isn't saying much since I am a pretty slow runner! But he is quite fast; those little dogs were born to hunt and chase, so he starts out really fast, then slows down to a 'jog', and then just stops and needs to be carried.
Which is kind of like us, isn't it? We start strong, slow down a bit, and then hit a brick wall. We all need to be carried occasionally. Whether it be devastating illness, emotional trauma, or whatever minefield we happen to have found ourselves in, we all need to be carried from time to time. And while the wonderful poem, "Footprints in the Sand", reminds us that ultimately it is Jesus carrying us, I am thinking about the people God has placed in our lives, those who love us enough to bear our burdens when we are weary and carry us occasionally. During a particularly trying time when my terminally ill mother was living with us, I was growing very weary, feeling beat up physically, emotionally and spiritually. A very dear friend reminded me of this story about Moses in which he and the Israelites were battling a foreign nation.
"So it came about, that when Moses held his hand up, Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amelek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So they overwhelmed Amalek and his people." Exodus 17" 11-13
This dear life long friend of mine said she would hold my hand up. She said she would cover me in prayer and support. She and other good friends certainly carried me for a while. It was what I needed. It carried me through, until my spirit was revived -my tail could wag again-, and I could again run or walk.
We need each other. We are meant to bear one another's burdens. Sometimes you are the one carrying, and sometimes you are the one being carried. If you are well enough to run - spiritually speaking-, look for someone who needs a little help- someone who could use their 'hand being held up'. Be someone's Aaron or Hur and do a little carrying. After all, you never know when you will be the one needing a little carrying because sometimes you run, sometimes you walk, and sometimes you need to be carried.
A shout out of thanks to Ann, Brenda, Dana, Judy, Karen, Keena, and my amazing husband, children and children in law. You would make great pack mules...you carried me safely through those mountains of mine. I'd carry you gladly anyday, anywhere. Love you so! Oh and you too Dooley! Thanks for the lesson. :)