At Your Service

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 Posted by Sara

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Mile 8.

My body was done.  We had climbed long hills and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Nashville prior to the final leg of our first half marathon.  But by mile 8, my feet were screaming and weariness had set in.  I was running on little fuel as nerves hadn't allowed me to eat much the night before nor prior to the race. I was feeling it now. 

Months before my dear friend had asked me if I would train with her to run the Nashville half marathon.  Neither of us were what you would call "athletic." It was a dream of hers and I think I had something to prove to myself.  So we began months of training, encouraging each other, praying for each other.  It was an incredible journey.

When fatigue set in at mile 8, discouragement quickly followed.  My friend had hit a great stride and appeared be floating down the course.  I couldn't keep up. It took all I had to keep her in eye sight to watch her cross the finish line.  I puttered in after her, gathered up some snacks and found the first place  to fall out on the ground.  Exhausted. 

I remember the weeks that followed as I returned to the treadmill how I wrestled with discouragement.  I didn't realize how much I had envisioned crossing the finish line together, and how disappointed I was in myself that after so much training I just couldn't keep up at the end.  And it was here, as my feet pounded the belt, that Jesus showed me His grace and wisdom. He began to ask me how it felt to watch the transformation in my friend as we trained, to understand this dream in her heart and to be in a position to champion her in her journey.  My heart began to soften as I took the focus off of myself, and onto my friend, and the privilege it was to run beside her.  I recognized that I received a great gift that day.  I got to see her cross the finish line - something that would have been harder to do had I been right beside her.  I literally got to stand back and watch the moment when my friend achieved her dream - and that was worth the whole journey for me.

I think God gives us unique opportunities to serve the dreams of those around us.  Whose dreams are you serving?  Do you really know what your neighbor, your brother, your small group member dream about?  Do you know you may have just the resource, the time, the words of encouragement to help them achieve that dream? Let us consider this week how we might serve those around us.  It might just begin with asking them a simple question.

What are you dreaming about? 

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13

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