Live Before You Leap

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” – Shakespeare

In the span of a year, I have had many “firsts” – so I only thought it befitting to continue the theme. I’ve never blogged on a Leap Day in a Leap Year. Ok, that’s not really the reason I was prompted to blog, but I thought it a fun circumstantial bonus.

Earlier this evening, before I embarked upon my four-mile run on the Katy Trail, I posted a status on Facebook that mentioned that the month of February, and I don’t have a good track record and how I couldn’t wait for this month to just be over. The mind is a beautiful thing – how my thoughts string together – especially when I’m running. I think it’s one of the reasons I love the times God gives me to go for a run. I get alone with Him, my music and my thoughts.

It was good, albeit hard, to be back on the trail after fighting off this upper respiratory infection that knocked the stuffing out of me. After limbering up, I was off. I’m trying to get a few runs in before running a last-minute 5K this weekend for the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in downtown. In running, I noticed for the first time how EVERYONE I passed by was a couple (male and female) walking or running together. Let me walk you through my train of thoughts. First: “Seriously, Lord?” eyes rolling – 10 second pity party commences. Second: “Awww, I hope that’s me one day with a man who enjoys working out with me” attempting the positive. Third: “Weird. I’m the only lone woman out here tonight. Probably stupid.” thinking it through.

All these ponderings, the replaying of past memories and my Facebook status (mentioned above) brought to mind a recent happening that took place around dawn a few nights ago. I can’t really call it a dream…perhaps more of a revelation and out of body experience. It shook me to my core and made me despair and in my despair, I ran to Him and found hope. Ah, yes, the “revelation”:

Bad, haunting, vivid dreams hurt my insides, but I couldn’t escape them. My body yearned for rest, the meds were doping me up, my sinuses were excruciating – so much pressure and fluid in my head and ears – my body was screaming for relief. My nose was thankful for Afrin. Propped up on pillows I could feel my body tossing. “Go away!” my heart was crying to the dreams, and yet a sick part of me didn’t want to see them go. I suddenly awoke, almost gasping, hot and drenched with my covers cocooned around me. I realized groggily I left the floor heater on. I got up to switch it off and grabbed a bottled water from the pantry, gingerly feeling my way in the dark. Back in bed. I prayed for rest and to not be anxious about work the next day. I dozed off. Suddenly, I felt myself slowly awake with this realization I was suddenly 50 (waking up in bed as that age) and I couldn’t remember if I had kids, a husband, etc. Even worse, I couldn’t remember what I had done with my life or where it had gone. It’s like I was robbed of the years between 24 and 50, because I was in such a hurry to want God to find me a man, marriage, etc. As my senses become more alert, I heaved a sigh of relief and realized I was still 24 and in bed.

It caused me to realize more than ever about myself (I’m sure you can relate) that I either dredge up the past to either daydream or beat myself up, and I look ahead and am in a hurry to LEAP ahead to the future (yeah, I thought my use of “leap” was clever), thinking things will be better there. I’m in a hurry with my job, life ambitions, etc. I become caught up in them. Don’t get me wrong, having set goals and working towards them aren’t necessarily a bad thing – as long as I first go toward THE Goal (of the upward calling in Christ Jesus). It’s all about perspective and looking at life through His lens and not mine. Trust.

Bottom-line I realized: Live your life in the present. Enjoy every season to its fullest. It will pass by quicker than the twinkling of an eye. “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes” (James 1:9-11). I don’t want to be in such a hurry to LIVE that I miss LIVING. And not just “living” but LEVERAGING my life, right now, for Christ. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of your time, because the days are evil.”

Shalom,

Rachel B. Duke

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