I love running with my son Joseph. I love coaching him in cross-country, and I love it when he chooses to run with me when I go out for my runs. Sometimes in the past, he would get so upset, and I would get so frustrated if he didn’t try his best, but I’ve worked through that. A wise woman (my wife) told me once, that some days, he just needs his dad, not his coach. I’ve taken that to heart…
And now, he really wants to be out there with me. He wants to get better, and faster. But yet, I’m still going to be his dad first, coach second. I want him to have fun, and love running for life. I’m going to use running though. I’m going to use it to teach him virtues and discipline in life, and use it as time to bond. But I also know that he will teach me so much more.
Today, its about puddles.
Who as a kid didn’t love to run through puddles? But as you get older and become an adult, you try to avoid them. They’re messy, dirty, and they splash. They get your feet wet and soggy. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, and so the running path was submerged under some pretty big puddles.
The first one, I tried to avoid, but Joseph ran through the deepest part, laughing and splashing the whole way through, enjoying life! I thought to myself, that’s what life is about… Making joy out of the puddles in our path. If you can’t let loose sometimes and run through a puddle with child-like joy with your own child, then life will harden you. Perhaps it already has.
And then so the next puddle came up. It was a big one. I was just ahead of Joseph and so this time, I ran right through it, splashing him as he ran behind me, the water engulfing my shoes. He thought that was so much fun! And you know what? So did I! It’s the little things…
But it also made me think about the “puddles”, those challenges we encounter in our lives. Often, you’ve just got to run right through them. Look through the mess of the task at hand, and simply see it for what it is – a puddle.
You can try to avoid the problem, and worry about its affects and what it might do to you, and add even more stress upon yourself by trying to find a way around it. Or, you can just say, ‘Ah, forget it!’, and run right through that puddle in life! Run right through it, run through the tears, and the hurt and the pain. Run through it, trying to make the best of it, knowing that it won’t last long, and soon you’ll be beyond it, moving on with life.
You know what? It may not be as big as it appeared, and it might require less energy than you thought if you simply surrender to it and push right through, even if it gets you a little dirty. And you never know – you might find joy in the midst of it.