“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten...26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed."
Well, that may seem like an odd quote to start with, but let me explain... God had allowed His people to suffer hardship. A giant swarm of locusts had come and completely devoured everything; this outside force drove the people into despair. However, God came in and not only provided food for the right now, but He also repaid them for everything they had lost in the past.
I have many regrets. Things in my past I wish I could go back and redo. I realize that the mistakes I've made, the bad choices of my youth have molded me into the me I am today. Without those I wouldn't be the same person. Sometimes God does in my life what He did in the lives of those so long ago-- He repays the years the locusts of my stupidity ate.
The latest example of His repayment? Well, now that I am a runner, and I've realized how freeing it is to crank out 3 miles or more, I've wished that in high school I had been the athlete that I am today. I wish that I had run track and had joined the cross country team. I hear stories of the bonding that happens among teammates, and I wish.
A few weeks ago, my school's cross country and track coach asked me if I would come out and help him with the summer program. Immediately, I thought of the time commitment and what that time would mean to my family and to my own training. I went to the informational meeting to hear his plans for the 100 day challenge-- 100 days of running, all leading up to an overnight retreat and a 10 mile run on the beach. Still, I was skeptical. It wasn't until the next morning's run, where I began praying. I had a little conversation with God; mulling over whether helping the team would be a wise step for my family. And that's when He seemed to say to me that He was giving me the opportunity that I never took in my high school days--to be a part of a cross country team. This was a gift; a chance to enjoy the camaraderie of a group of kids and a couple of adults who just love to run. The verse about the locusts came to mind. And I nearly cried with joy.
Now, I have no delusions of grandeur. I am the same slow woman that I was before. As a matter of fact, on the first run of the 100 days, I was greatly humbled. It was a "slow" aerobic run of 3 miles. My nerves began to relax as I heard Coach saying we would be doing about 2 minutes per mile slower than race pace. "Cool, some of these kids will be running 10 minute miles," I thought. And then they took off. I was huffing and puffing about to croak at 1/2 mile in. "These kids are going to kill me," I thought. But I soon found a buddy. She's not part of the team, but is running to stay in shape for soccer. Three miles was quite ambitious for her, so together we ran/walked and finished dead last. And she continues to be my running buddy, and together we are getting a little faster.