Running with Endurance

CroppedTwo days ago, Delia and Matti, my twin granddaughters, had their tenth birthday.  In those ten years, they have experienced the agony and major inconvenience of about ten long bone fractures – femur, tibia and fibula; plus several small fractures in their feet, all due to a fragile bone condition called Osteo Genesis Imperfecta, Their lives have been filled with xrays and casts, a wheel chair, a walker, therapy…  But it had been more than two years since a fracture, so we’ve been relieved, but always concerned. We don’t want them to just play it safe and miss out on life, yet the the worry is always there.

So Delia joined an after school running club, Cross Country for younger kids, fourth and fifth graders, called Pup Running. The course is roughly 1 1/4 miles over a rolling hills grass course at Northview Church. Who says churches and public schools can’t be good partners for the good of the kids?

Then last Friday, Delia fell and broke the radius in her left arm.  And yes, she is a lefty,so now she has to do the best she can in school, writing with the awkwardness of her right hand. Yes, we were relieved that it wasn’t a leg, but even with it being her arm, I assumed running cross country was out of the question. Arms are a vital part of rhythm and balance in running. Disappointing, but that’s life.

But just six days after the fractured arm, sporting her fluorescent green cast, and in 90 degree heat, Delia joined her classmates at Forest Dale School in the first of three fall meets, competing against ten other Carmel Clay elementary schools.

No, she didn’t come in first.  She hadn’t done any serous running until the first practice just a week before. But not to be deterred, encouraged by a friend, she entered the race. I prayed the whole time that she wouldn’t step in a hole and fall.  After the first lap, as the leaders had already completed both laps and crossed the finish line, I thought she might want to give it up. But not Delia. She had to wind her way through the crowd blocking the path to start the second lap and continued the race. Offered a drink of water, she waved it off and kept running, completing the race. I am so proud of her effort and determination to fight through adversity.

Even more, I hope and pray that she and all my six grandchildren will face life this way, not letting the bumps and breaks of life keep them from giving it their all, serving Jesus and being part of that great family of faith, living all out for God’s glory.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrew 12:1,2

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