So. Three-thirty in the morning I wake up to the throbbing pain in my right big toe. What the heck?! It’s the side of it, warm and swollen, like in the area where you would find an infected hangnail or something. I have had issues with this nail as I lost part of it some time ago. This can be the case when running long distances, loosing toenails. The thing has never looked better though!
I always trim mine really good before, so I never had a problem too much with this. Now suddenly there is this pain! And my brain at once goes into panic mode. Oh no! Possible deal breaker? Is there some chronic issue now and it is going to keep me from running? Forget the screwed up back, or stress fractures, or knee problems- all the legit things that can really be deal breakers and we are going to be out of commission because of a stupid toe?! And not even from slipping on the ice or anything, but from sleeping!! In a soft and fluffy bed?!
I tell you what. I am so done with this stress. So I get up and go downstairs and take up my normal hormonal insomnia-laden woman of the night position on the couch with EWTN (the Catholic channel) on low. I turn on the TV and they are just beginning Benediction. Ahh. That is what I need. I follow along with the prayers while icing the stupid toe. I even stretch my toe out toward the TV as the priest holds up the monstrance for the Eucharistic blessing. Here it is Lord, my big toe. Could You be so kind as to heal this thing for me?
I am thinking that something has got to be readjusted. And not on my foot. For some time now, with all the planning and hype about running THE Boston Marathon I have been organizing it all in my head, like I have the perfect plan. Don’t You see God? How’s about You get on board because I have it all mapped out.
Not only that, but I posted to everyone I know on facebook that I am running in this race. That gauntlet is dropped and it would look ridiculous if I am not able to do what I have proclaimed from the rooftops that I am going to do. I am this runner see. And everyone knows it. I got it going on, aren’t you impressed?
Pride. Dammitable pride. When I (with the aide of grace of course) close the door somewhere, the devil finds the way under the cracks. And the most discouraging thing is a lot of times I don’t even see it.
I was talking to my friend Andrea a couple days ago as I am being overrun with waves of anxiety. I want to do this thing so badly; everything in me begs God to let it be so. For You Lord! Let me do this for You! To stand back and see the project before me, it’s vastness, all those crosses, all the things that can go wrong, all this weight and baggage is stifling me.
I was venting to my dear friend, joking that if only God would come on board here and see the brilliance of my well-laid plan, we would be all set. Her response stuck with me, “Well you should really be looking for what is His will.”
Yes. I know this. Yes. But. I really, really (did I make that clear?) want to do this. For Your glory Lord. To praise You!
This morning He answered me.
This morning I open up the Magnificat (the beautiful Catholic daily mass, and morning and evening prayers book) and was reading this punch in the gut: “Obedience to God’s designs is in itself an act of worship. Worship without obedience is merely hollow flattery.”
Uh huh. Okay. Then on top of that, I went to morning mass and the gospel was from Mark about the leper who wanted to be cured so he sets out to beg before Jesus. He says, “If you wish it, you can make me clean.” And Jesus, moved with pity responds, “I do will it. Be made clean.” (Mk 1:40-45) Then Father goes on in his homily about how a humble heart will win the heart of Jesus… a heart set on doing the will of God.
Right. Yes. Got it. And of course I am rebuilding the dyke and thinking, I could act humble. I could say, “If you wish it, I can run another marathon.” No really, mine is a good idea Lord!
So, after mass I went and registered at the OPC (Older Persons Commission) now that I’m fifty and can utilize their lap pool (members of the community have to be fifty). I swam laps for thirty minutes and loved it! Let’s hear it for cross training!! The water was the perfect temperature, so great to go swimming on a cold and snowy day in an eighty-eight degree pool. That made me very happy. On top of everything else my arms are like Jello from use in my modified, keep your hair and eyes out of the water- breast stroke AND the chlorinated water made my toe feel better. Awesome!
Okay so now I need to rebuild the dyke again. I heard You today my Jesus. I need to ask God to work His wonders in this sinful bunch of flesh and help me to love His will! I need to become that reed that blows in the smallest of wind- here and there at just the slightest nudge it responds without hesitation. I need to trust that He will take care of all of this- whatever happens. I need to love. Ooo eee that’s scary. It is a taller order than this old body finishing another marathon, that’s for sure. But if anyone can do it, I know God can.