Every now and then during dinner we bring out the conversation cards sitting on our bench. They are designed to teach children to listen, wait their turn and build social skills. We play from youngest to oldest.
Our 4 year old boy was first,
and card ‘one’ read: “What is the farthest you have ever run?”
“I have run all the way around and back to the beginning again!” he shouted. He was so excited to know the answer and used his arms in the
act. Ah, it was a beautiful response!
I recognized myself in my son’s experience.
We are all runners. We set out on our life’s paths, with great ambitions and little thought of the co-ordination it takes to get our arms and legs in
sync. We race what distance we can with all the excitement of our maturity. Our run is magnificent in our own eyes. We want others to be proud of us.
When we finish, we are back at the start. We are at the beginning again. We must run once more after
a time of rest.
Hezekiah was a runner. He lived a little like this. He did amazing things for God. It’s just that, he started running for the wrong cause (himself) and forgot Him. Eventually God caught his attention with a skin infection, and
deathly ill, Hezekiah pleaded forgiveness and God dramatically turned back the sun on request for this man to run again! I think perhaps the gaining of sunlight, for about an hour, was symbolic to Hezekiah gaining another 15 years of life. He rose to run again.
Only this time he got back to the beginning and forgot Him once more! He became proud of his own position and his own run when others came to wonder at the miraculous added sunlight event. Hezekiah overlooked the God who gave the daylight and every other component
of his previous great runs.
We all do it.
It is easy to look back and say, “Hey, I have been a good mother and done this and that for God—I have run this far!” The warning is encouraging. God cares about us. He gives us life
lessons, like Hezekiah’s, so we will not have to go through the boiling infection of pride when we start to see only ourselves. We can learn straight from another’s example—praise God, truly!
An alternative example of
‘running all the way around and back to the beginning again’ is once a run is finished. The Book of Told is complete now and I am back to the beginning with the same desire to run for Him. I am proud to have been given legs to run on and supporters
along the way. Now I am twiddling my thumbs, waiting to truly know I am meant to begin the next story.
I have sciatic nerve pain holding me back from my hobby of literal running these past few days (doctor’s orders!), so am nearly
bed bound. Yet I can honestly say that the furthest I have ever run (figuratively) happened during this last year. What a natural high now that it is done. What a lot of prayer has gone into the hope that real living slaves will know freedom through the joining
of this endeavor to A21 Campaign.
Hezekiah’s life is a good challenge to me. God will always get the credit for the story because He is the one who thought up the plot and over-arching themes. He is the one who created language and
the beauty of word play. He opens our eyes to needs in our habitation and directs our running paths to deliver good news to the same.
Yes, all praises for any good we might achieve can only go to Him—and we all have some good to be proud of. We
are only the ink in the hand of the Master Writer. WHAT A PRIVILEGE!! He has turned back the sun for us as well, in so many ways! He turned back the sun for you as an individual that day. He knew you would need the encouragement of a personal and all-mighty
God. He did it all for you and me!!!