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If We Go Half Way, God Will Meet Us There

By Eliza Drummond
For The Register-Guard
Published: Saturday, February 27, 2010 (reprinted here with permission)

It is the week before my next marathon and I sit in church, watching the sanctuary fill with friends and new faces. This week in a runner’s training schedule is called “taper week,” a time of rest and anticipation before the big event, and often a time of second-­guessing, of self-doubt.

As I listen to the wonderful traditional music and watch the activities unfolding around me, I realize that too many thoughts interrupt my ability to stay in the present moment. Did I train well enough? Did I do enough hill repeats, run enough miles? Is a week too much rest? Will I be ready?

And then, from the chancel, our new pastor, April, begins to deliver the offertory message. I love her prayers. They are so inclusive. When she prays, I feel like God listens, so I try to as well. She speaks of understanding what it is like to not feel adequate, to realize that perhaps what she has is not enough, but she knows that if she goes half the distance, God will meet her there. If she is willing to make the effort, God will meet her half way. And I realize that this is true for me as well.

This is a comforting message for the event most on my mind: completing a footrace that is beyond the limit of human comfort. But it speaks more to me in my everyday life. When I am confronted with an issue that threatens to force me into my place of small thinking, can I make that crucial first step into abundant thinking, into that place where God will meet me?

Pastor April gives a concrete example of abundance to start me on my way. Although I may not be able to solve the issue alone, I can spend a few dollars to purchase some cans of soup. My soup, along with donations from other congregants, creates abundance, and many more are fed than I could ever feed alone.

Not only that, but in the act of bringing forward my two cans of soup to be collected, I find I am surrounded by people who have the same goal as me: to work toward a solution to the problem of inadequate food distribution. I find community, people who think like me, and suddenly I am not alone. I am no longer in my place of small thinking.

This is what happens when we take those first steps … God creates the miracle.

So, as I begin the race in a week, I will remember the feeling of community I have this moment as I join others in the familiar hymns. How wonderful it will be to run the last part of my marathon with God at my side, taking the form of all the other runners who have set this same goal before themselves.

My efforts, with God’s help, can return manifold the abundance of my efforts alone. Or is it God’s effort, with my help?

 

Eliza Drummond is a member of First Christian Church. This column is coordinated by Lane Interfaith Alliance to offer inspiration, share personal spiritual experiences and bring a deeper understanding of individual faith perspectives with the intention of blessing our community and the world. For information, visit www.laneinterfaithalliance.org or call 541-344-0430.

 


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