Turkey Trot-Part2

The night before Thanksgiving, I closed my iPad having finished my last blog about the Dallas Turkey Trot. It was time to focus on sleep and get ready for the next day. A dear friend of our daughters, had offered her home so our family could spread out. Molly and I had gone over earlier in the afternoon to deliver my luggage and check out her very secure alarm system. At 10 p.m., with the key to the house in my own hand, we headed out for the two block drive. What happened from the doorsteps of Molly and Matt’s house to Murre’s front door we will never know. The key had disappeared. We scanned every piece of grass, kicked every leaf, tried to avoid every treasure that any animal had left behind and looked in every crevice of the car. We retraced every step, but no key! That added up to no clothes, no contact solution, no toothbrush and most importantly for the next day, no running shoes for me.

Lacking not just physical energy, but also emotional energy, I had not run a road race in a couple of years. This was to be my coming out and I was now ready to throw in the towel. My family would hear nothing of this, but I was slow to be convinced. We slept another night at Molly and Matt’s house and the next morning we woke to the dilemma at hand. Molly had a pair of running shoes I could use, but they were a half size too small. It had been decades since my toenails had suffered the consequences of wearing too small running shoes and they seemed to cry out for me to think long and hard about this decision. Bill said I could wear his workout shoes, they were not running shoes. They were a size too large and looked like snow shoes. I began working with thin socks and thick socks but there was no perfect fit. I didn’t know in which children’s story I was playing a role. Was it “Cinderella” with the glass slipper being forced on the stepsisters’ feet or “The Three Bears” with chairs and beds being either too big or too small? The decision was made to go with Molly’s Asics and hope for the best.

Most of our crowd had planned on running the 8 mile race, in lieu of the 5K. I finally gave myself the option of the 5K, knowing I could change my course if needed. Having a backup plan, I took off when the gun sounded. It probably was not my best performance and I had no feeling in my toes by mile 5, but I finished the entire 8 mile course. I can thank my friend, Craig, who kept me focused and my mind off my ill fitting shoes. Our whole group gathered at the finish line and I slowly hobbled back to the car and kicked off my shoes.

When there is not a good fit, we can sometimes squeak by. There are pants I could wear but they don’t fit. I might be able to suck it all in, with pockets open wide and wear them with a big sweater for one evening. Yeah, I could make do, but I would be the first to say that they didn’t look good. I have packed for a trip and had to pull out a second piece of luggage because there was no place for that last pair of shoes. They simply wouldn’t fit. These problems can be handled without much trouble.

Other problems cannot be easily handled when the misfits involve life, people, and decisions.  No matter how hard we try to make it work and make it “fit” we can be left feeling frustrated, misunderstood and hurt. Putting together the meaning of all the pieces that do not fit has to be given to God. The Lord welcomes misfits– like me. The weak places of my life and the pieces that don’t always seem to fit at the moment, will in the long run, finish a puzzle that is grander than I could put together.

I was happy that day when the landlord came up with another key for Murre’s apartment. Inside her home, I found my shoes and other belongings that fit me. I’m thankful for all the areas that seem to fit and work well in my life. I can also be thankful for areas that do not fit as well knowing that in the end they will help me win a race that is grander than any turkey trot.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


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