I had some time by myself while driving to my daughter’s Cross Country meet on Saturday. I began to think about some of the questions that I posed in my last blog. For some reason, the outfit came first. What would my Super Hero outfit look like? I found myself ‘whining’ … "I don’t want to wear that!" OK, so I refuse to wear blue and red spandex (or any other color)! What other question should I consider?
What are the characteristics of a Super Hero? The dictionary defines hero as a "man admired and looked up to for his valor, achievements, and noble qualities." "Someone who rescues or protects someone." Far from their incredible strength, I’m known for crying at the most inappropriate times… a tv show, a commercial, a poem, and sporting events. Well, not every sporting event and not every time. On Saturday, however, my eyes filled with tears as I watched Jenna take her place on the starting line. She has been injured and sick most of the week. In my world, she should not be running. In her world, she must run! Anyway, my thought was… there’s a hero. Pressing past what you feel to do what you think you should – that’s a noble quality. Then, I started watching. I know I saw more than one hero that day, but here’s the one that inspired my blog.
Jenna had finished the course and met back up with her coach, teammates and parents. After congratulations all around, she walked with me to the van to get some medicine. This is 5-10 minutes after we thought the race was over. As we stood there talking, we realized that a final girl was making the turn into the very last section toward the finish line. I said, "Oh my gosh, I wonder if they know she’s still running." Jenna said, "She’s finishing – that’s awesome!" We stood there watching with utter respect, clapping and cheering her on. Then, just a short distance behind, were all her teammates running behind her! As she got closer to the finish line, those who were still standing around talking, realized what was happening and the applause rippled down the line as she moved toward her goal. Talk about a touching moment!
Oh, that it would be so in each of our lives! Are you part of a team that cheers one another on, during the best and worst of times? Have you ever felt like that final competitor? Have you ever wondered if you would even make it to where you’re supposed to be? Then, seemingly out of nowhere, someone arrived on the scene to encourage and cheer you on. I thought about this scenario and what a Super Hero would have done. They would have known she had fallen behind, flown back to get her, swooped down, scooped her up in one arm and transported her to the finish line. I prefer what her team actually did. So, as if I didn’t know it already, today convinced me that I don’t want to be Super Woman. I don’t even want to have Super Hero powers. And did I mention I do not want to wear a Super Hero outfit?
I want to be a hero like the last girl in the race, who was determined to finish the course no matter what. I want to be a hero like my daughter, who came in 13th and lovingly and sincerely admired this girl for finishing. I want to be a hero like her teammates, who, after finishing themselves, went back to find her and supportedly escorted her to the finish line.
I will leave the spandex for someone else and I will hopefully choose to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. That’s the garb I want to be wearing! Sure, there will always be days when I wish that I could be two places at one time or that a multitude of tasks were magically done. But that goes back to the being vs. doing. I am okay knowing that I can’t "do" everything. I don’t want to be so busy working or cleaning, or a million other things that I miss the chance to encourage someone along the way. Sometimes, it takes extra time and effort, but as I was reminded on Saturday, it is time incredibly well spent!
There is a commercial on tv where a woman says, "If my kids have heroes, I’d love to be one of them." Amen to that! But if I can encourage anyone else in this marathon called "life," then that’s great too! I don’t have to be a hero… I just want to be a blessing.
Until next time, bookoo blessings!