Tuesday, October 23, 2012

100-milers, crazy days, and peculiar teams

The days are crazy. Insane. Ludicrous. Why?, I ask myself. I'm too old for this. Why start a new profession at 55?

I have this habit of biting off really big pieces. Sometimes it's cake. Sometimes it's life. I'm pretty sure the cake bites are easier to swallow.

My days start at 4:55 a.m.. My desk at school is my home from 5:45 a.m. until the bell rings in the start of a new day. Then it's a whirlwind of teaching the specifics of protein synthesis and DNA replication. My planning period serves only as a time to shove my fruit and yogurt down the hatch as I furiously prepare for the afternoon and upcoming lessons. Then it's time to teach again until the final bell. But it's not over then.

The kids on my beloved cross country team come streaming into my room. They are usually excited and noisy. Me? Sometimes I have to work on the excitement part. I am tired. I love these kids but I can't say I am always enthusiastic about the coming workout. Still, I do it because I need to set the example. I need to persevere. I need to show them that sometimes it's mind over matter-and most of the time, it is. At least those days of running make my quest for running 365 days in a row a little easier.

Then there are my outside responsibilities. Home. Church. Hospitality. Small group. Then add pacing the back fifty of 100-milers in the middle of the night. I love these things, every last one, but I could use a few more hours every day; Especially weekend days.

Weekends in the fall are an an endless stream (no, make that rushing torrents) of cross country meets. I wish I could sleep in. I wish I could go for a long run in the mountains. I wish I could be like normal people and simply tidy my house and scrub the dull porcelain of our old claw-foot tub. But I can't. Those things will have to wait for another day. Perhaps another season.

But then comes Team Peculiar Day. I explain to the kids that God calls us to be set apart, a chosen people, peculiar, even. We discuss how long it should take for other teams to recognize our peculiarity (in a good sense). And then I look around the room and smile. What my eyes see is a swarm of costumes, clashing outfits, tiaras, masks, and feather boas. There's even one kid with his head in a box and one on his back. I think it's a nod to astronauts. But it's all a perfect illustration of an important principle.

We take to the streets, this odd, boisterous crowd. They wave at passing cars and catch the attention of passengers on crowded buses. They revel in being odd, yelling and screaming the whole way. One fella bends a flower into the shape of a ring, and on one knee "proposes" to an unsuspecting college coed. The team looks on as the blushing girl's friend snaps pictures to record the event. We all laugh before proceeding toward more adventurous shenanigans. We continue on, practicing group "freezes" in the midst of crowded student centers. We delight in the stares and baffled comments.

It's easy to be goofy in a large group. What is it that they say? "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." But to be odd, peculiar, on your own. . .well, that takes courage. However, when God calls us out, he always equips us for the task. We need not fear rebuke or ridicule when we behave and speak as God requires. It all comes down to this: "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

It's not all that popular to live as Micah writes. But do it anyway. Please God. Be peculiar.


3 comments:

Kelly said...

All the best Rebecca! I thought of you recently as I ran into the darkness sans my headlamp. Maybe you should schedule a day "off" one weekend just for you - to sleep in and relax?

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Ah- so glad you did the dark thing. I will be having a night run with my team before the state meet. Always a good time!

I need to get to Jan 1. Then I can rest with a day off. :)

Casseday said...

We just finished the study "Weird" in our Sunday School class. It's a very good series . . . much like the peculiarity that you're refering to.

Keep the streak going - you're almost there!

Hope to see you at Masochist next weekend.