|Feet of the unknown|
But I'll tell you what is beautiful. It's the feet attached to the legs of my runners. Why? You might predict (quite accurately) that some of their feet have a good case of the uglies as well. However, that's of little import. What makes them so attractive is they carry their owners to live out a principle:
Last Friday my team once again headed for the hills--literally. It was to be a short but intense workout with multiple repeats up and down a particularly difficult incline. As is the usual case, the faster runners surged ahead with the less experienced and slower runners struggling from behind. "As soon as you finish your workout, you can head back down the mountain," I offered, knowing that most wanted to shower and eat before enjoying the first offering of Friday night football.
But something happened. As the lead runners descended the hill for the last time, none left the day's arena. They began to cheer for the slower runners as they continued to confront the unyielding mountain. As I was finishing my own last round trip, I saw Phillip, a senior leader, running shoulder to shoulder with a lagging runner. That was his sixth trip up the hill. Once at the bottom and amidst shouts of encouragement for the finishing runner, he joined up with yet another team member and led her up the hill. He matched the girl step for step all the way to the top--again-- and for the seventh time. It's not that he wasn't tired after his hard effort on the first five. He simply saw the need to deliver good tidings in person.
As Phillip brought the last runner to the finish, high fives abounded and smiles flashed all around. As a coach, I was amazed. Not a single person left early though they were permitted to do so. They stuck around until the last person completed the workout. Then they ran as a happy but tired pack back down the mountain. Together. As one. Like people who really, truly care about each other. But as their coach, I can assure you this is not an uncommon event. For the runners on the Liberty Christian Academy cross country team, this is their everyday. It's who they are. It's what they do.
Sometimes their dog-tired, worn and wonderful, fast (and slow) feet run silent and deep. No need for loud and obnoxious. But other times, like a stampeding herd of buffalo, their feet stomp out the message: "Good news! Great tidings! Our God reigns!"
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalms 19:14).