A Different Pair of Shoes


After a brief (actually, longer than that) respite from our last marathon, Wes finally convinced me to get back to running by signing me up for this bit of insanity called the Dopey Challenge.  Because we can’t take a vacation without running ourselves stupid, right?

Anyway, with that looming ahead on the horizon, I’ve had to start running on a schedule again so as to not lose all the endurance I had when I was running so much high mileage.  I’ve lost most of that hard-earned endurance, likely, but I can still run a few miles at a fast pace without feeling like death.

I do, however, feel supreme annoyance during some of these short runs, thanks to the walkers. 

Oh, the walkers.

I have no problem with people walking, but it gets my goat in the worst way possible when there are three or four people walking in a line together, totally blocking the way for everyone else!  This is one of those times when I would give anything for a car horn somewhere on my body so I could just do what I do when I’m driving and honk them right out of the way.  (Wes tells me I’m going to get shot one day honking like I do in the car. Whatever.  I spent half my time behind the wheel in Namibia “hooting” my car’s “hooter” at anyone and everyone because it wasn’t nearly as rude or aggressive as it is here.  And now, ten years later?  I still can’t stop myself.)

I had already dodged tons of people on one particular run last week when I came upon a family of six.  Six, y’all — all in a row.  The group of tiny walkers was headed by a mom, about my age, who had the bigger kids (still likely only six or seven) on scooters and the little ones next to her, holding her hands.  They had blocked the entire trail and then some, making it impossible to pass them without actually running through the mud in my brand new shoes.  Grr…

Which I did, whilst grumbling greatly in my mind.  Honestly, some people, I thought.  She should take those kids somewhere else, and —

And then, it hit me.  Who should defer to whom in this situation?  Who is clearly having a harder time getting her exercise in?  Who should, as a mother of small ones herself (ahem) have a little more grace towards another mother?  Who should live what she says she believes and think nothing but positive thoughts towards this woman who is enjoying her children and helping them to develop healthy habits alongside her?

Clearly, this should have been a no-brainer.  But I’m a rotten sinner who needs to be more like Jesus and less like Jenn Faulk.  So, I had to think on it a while, y’all.

I’m convicted that as I get frustrated over the tiniest things that I would do well to take a step back and imagine my feet in someone else’s shoes.  Or, even better, take a step back and see the world, see others, through Christ’s eyes.  Would it give me a softer heart towards others?  Likely.  Would it make me better able to sympathize and empathize with people?  Most definitely.  Would it make me less of a screeching hag?  I certainly hope so.

Good food for thought.  Here’s to not being screeching, hooting hags all the time!

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