The Turkey Trot

Last week I was sitting in a local coffee shop waiting for a friend to arrive. Across the table was a Wall Street Journal someone had left behind. Front page article: Turkey Trots will be held around the country on Thanksgiving Day. My eyes went to the picture of Dallas, Texas, showing a mob of runners. Not sure if my contacts were in correctly, I rubbed my eyes and re-read the fine print. There would be 35,000 people entering this race. Was this what my kids had said they wanted to do Thanksgiving morning when we all converged in Dallas to celebrate?!?

Turkey Trots have been a fun way for our family to begin Thanksgiving. As far as calling it a, “race”, you can make it whatever you want. There are always serious athletes running and then there are “walkers” who finish an hour later than the main pack, with a cup of coffee and a cigarette in their hands. Our race in Williamsburg has grown over the years, but in no way is it into the tens of thousands. No matter where you are, it is a great way to start this national holiday.

Being one person in a sea of thousands has its benefits. I can be anonymous. In a race you feel comfortable when no one is watching your every move. If you trip and fall down, your clumsiness will go unnoticed. If you decide that you have had enough of the sweat and toil and need a cup of morning Joe along the route, no alarms will go off. Growing up in a small town and knowing everyone, I liked the contrast of big places and being anonymous. Going to a big university with 500 students in Biology 101 didn’t bother me. The only negative was that you really had to know the material because using any charm to schmooze the professor was not helpful with your grade. My first trip to New York City was thrilling because you could sit on a bench, watching people all day long and no one noticed.

By contrast, in other situations, being unnoticed or unknown can be hurtful. To feel that your presence or voice do not matter can be demeaning and lonely. Anonymous is not a word that we want used to describe our relationships. When everyone has a number pinned on his running shirt, it’s every man for himself and it is okay. But in contrast, there is a hole in our heart when trying to relate to the people we love and it goes unnoticed.

Communicating love to important people in my life can sometimes be challenging. My actions and words are not adequate to convey my heart. In the same way, I must work to not be disappointed when I feel my voice or opinion are not considered. Gaps and holes in our lives expand beyond our ability to fill them. The Lord is the ultimate healer, connector and communicator. He is the constant supplier, when my energies fall short. This goes for the times when I am reaching out unsuccessfully or when I feel like I need that same affirmation in my life. He promises, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Tomorrow as I wake to the cool Dallas morn and take the train with our small entourage, I will be met with a sea of people. Each face I see has a story to tell. My ability to hear those voices will be limited. However, each will remind me of the familiar faces I encounter everyday. The Thanksgiving season is a good time to let those I know that I see, hear and love them. Their voices are important to me.

PS. I am THANKFUL to all of you for taking the time to read my blog. Thank you for giving me a voice. Happy Thanksgiving!


3 thoughts on “The Turkey Trot

  1. Very well said Lindy, and a perfect time for the reflection. Thank you and Bill for listening and loving each of us. All the best to you and yours this season of Thanksgiving. Cathy

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