Monday, May 18, 2009

Fire Hydrant

So, what's your fire hydrant?

My fire hydrant is my finish line, the goal I want to reach at the end of every practice run. Each time I start my run, its an adventure. Its full of anticipation. Full of hope. Maybe I'll adventure onto a new running path or bump into someone I know. Maybe the adventure entails the anticipation of a great new unexpected day ahead of me. I have the hope that today will be the day I'll start to drop the stubborn 15lbs after all those Christmas cookies. Well, that is at least ONE goal of mine.

I do know one thing. I'll quite literally run into things, people or situations that were meant to be. I was meant to see or do certain things on each run. These things tend to remind me of other things, situations or persons from my past or present. Remembering and recalling things is a theme on my runs. Sometimes its remembering that I have dishes to wash when I get home. Or laundry that needs folding after sitting on the couch all week. Yea, its true. I need to remember to do those things, I guess.

But remembering can be a good thing. Its the promises of God I try to remember most on my runs. Like,

Proverbs 18:10~The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous RUN to it and are safe.
Isaiah 40:31~but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will RUN and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Psalm 85:8~ I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints— but let them not return to folly.

I TRY to remember to bring a verse with me on my runs in order to meditate on them and memorize. I love it when I do. I forget the promises so easily.

When I don't bring a verse, I try to remember as many previously memorized verses I can remember... which is pretty challenging cause I have this memory problem I call selective memory syndrome. I tend to gravitate toward the ablity to remember the bad things more than the good or true things. Why is that?

So anyway, when I go on a run, I sometimes see things that remind me of verses or passages in the Bible. Sometimes its symbolical. Sometimes its as silly as a fire hydrant. Which is what I wanted to write my first blog about; a silly, lemon-bright colored fire hydrant.

I get emotional about this hydrant. It's weird, but I do.
There is something about it God has used in my life to spur me on in faith, in the Holy Spirit.

I remember the first time I used it as a finishing point. I was training for the half marathon in Chicago a couple years ago. I started asking myself these questions:
What in Scripture represents the Holy Spirit? yep, water.
What is the fire hydrant the source of? Water.
So, the bright yellow hydrant reminds me of the Holy Spirit and God's powerful truth.
What is the hydrant used for? To put out fires, right?
Fires to me are like the lies I tend to believe about myself or my situations in life. (I'm not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, I don't have enough, not fast enough, etc)
It's like I need the truth to douse the fire, rush in and save me from the burning house!
If the Holy Spirit speaks God's Truth and God says in His word that He washes us with the Water of His Word(which is Truth), how symbolic is that yellow hydrant now?

It's powerful to me!

This hydrant is my finish line for each practice run. Once I catch a glimps of it, something within me clicks and I run harder and faster and stronger. I remember the Twila Paris song, "fix your eyes on Jesus..." who is the author and perfector of our faith. I remember the words my youth pastor said repeatedly, "Never quit!" I also remember those who have gone before me in the race of life. Those who ran a great start and a poor finish. But I also recall stories or know real people who had a poor start and a great finish. This hydrant represents to me the truth I will face at the end of my life. Keith Green says it well, "I want to hear Him say, Well done! Not, well run, or, you sure had a good time! I'm glad you did!'"

So lately, each time I finish my run I have been quite emotional, even weeping over the hydrant. I've been crying out to Him and asking the Lord to help me be an overcomer today... one who runs strong race but an even stronger finish. One who overcomes the enemy and trials of life today but who looks forward to the life to come. It's at the hydrant I am doused with even more hope, more anticipation and even more of a sense of adventure. Why?

When I see the finish flag I want to run hard and fast! For I know it is those who overcome who will be with Jesus in the end.

Revelation 2:7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Revelation 2:17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Revelation 2:26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—

Revelation 3:5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

Revelation 3:12Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Revelation 3:21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Revelation 21:7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Hebrews 12:1[ God Disciplines His Sons ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us RUN with perseverance the race marked out for us.