3:15 am…Day 28…Life is a marathon…for sure.
We have been in the hospital with Joree since May 1st. She started stirring at 2:30 this morning waking me out of the light sleep of a hospital night. I quickly noticed the pungent odor that signals a needed diaper change. This is good news. Joree is in the hospital because her intestines configured themselves into a compromising position. Surgery on May 3rd corrected the blockage. Now, 25 days later the road to healing has become similar to a cross-country journey without the benefit of sleep.
It seems to me that the world around us is attempting to make life into a sprint the last few decades when in truth, life is a marathon. It is satisfying to receive pleasure sooner than later. Happiness acquired in a day or two is more attractive than waiting months or even years to experience. Yet with determined fury the culture of today is sprinting in pursuit of pleasure and happiness and discovering that at the end of the short dash the happiness is just as fleeting. The burst of glee disappears as quickly as it arrived and immediately the chase is on again often at warp speed.
Once again, Joree has taught me that this is all about plodding. Of the many clichés, “you can’t rush fine wine”…”haste makes waste”…”slow and steady wins the race”. Why is it that we slough off clichés knowing as trite as they are, they are truth? Perseverance, one of the personal characteristics of a person with integrity, has lost participants. Marathons attract a small percentage of runners for the simple reason that a marathon is brutal. Ask those people right around mile 12 how much fun they are having and you hear labored breathing and a few choice words. Ask the same person how they feel at the finish line, and you hear and see joy. Not happiness, because the runners are often collapsing and or vomiting. No, it’s a sense of complete satisfaction. “I was dying out there for hours” you’ll hear, “but this moment is worth it all”.
So here we are…3:15 in the morning…day 28 of a marathon. We are tired, stinky, claustrophobic, irritated. But the end is in view and I anticipate walking through the front door very soon and all this will be forgotten. Hey friends…the end of this life journey is always in view. It’s not a sprint. It’s a long, long struggle that has so many twists and turns along the way…but if you look closely you can see someone standing at the finish line…and he’s clapping…and he’s smiling…and diving across that line will be worth it all. Keep on truckin….