the words of tim walker

the day i stopped running

image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons/by Rob Swatski
image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons/by Rob Swatski

i used to run.
all the time.
i don’t run anymore.

for those who know me well, you’re probably saying, “what?”
after all, i don’t like exercise.
there’s nothing enjoyable about it to me. no high. no sense of accomplishment.
just pure annoyance.

so let me clarify.

i used to run the race of life. the one we’re all in—whether we realize we signed up for it or not.
i was driven. i was passionate. i was always looking for a new race—a new project, a new opportunity.

and then one day, i fell.
i tripped over the words of someone else.
someone who made me feel small.
someone who made me feel like i was limited.
and that person’s comments had a snowball effect that undermined my confidence in several areas.

i know that seems somewhat cryptic, and that’s intentional.
but those words crippled me.

maybe at another time or another place, those words may have had little impact.
but i like encouragement. i like affirmation. and i had been in a very dry place for a while. i was running dehydrated.

one person’s words stopped me from running.
and from that point, others’ words joined in as well.
the actions or inactions of others contributed until i found myself so far removed from the race, that i barely remember running.

i think i used to run.
i know so, not because of a prize or accomplishment, but because of this wound.

maybe you know what i am talking about. you know that comment shouldn’t have bothered you so much, but it cut really deep. deeper than you realized.
and if you are honest with yourself, it stopped you.

we all know that one person’s words shouldn’t have that much power over our lives.
or why that others shouldn’t affect us so much.

after all, isn’t that the subject of tweets, memes or after school specials.

but when it happens, it feels like a pile-on.
let’s get him while he’s down.
let’s keep him down.

but there’s one verse from the Bible that’s been haunting me lately. yes, haunting me. because it calls to me like a ghost in the darkness.

the apostle paul wrote to the church in Galatia, “You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?” (Galatians 5:7 NLT).

those words have.
the actions of others have.
i have.

and so we sit on the sidelines, wondering if we will run again.
should we run again.
do we even want to run again?

after all, the race hurts.
it’s not easy.
and we wonder if it’s even worth it?

but the key is in the next verse, “It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom” (Galatians 5:8 NLT).

so maybe, just maybe you and i need to get back in the race.
maybe it’s time to start running again.

because that one person, that one incident, that one comment that took you out of the race—was meant to take you out.
and maybe, like in a triumphant, underdog moment in movie, we need to get back up.
consider that maybe those words, those actions were wrong. that maybe we’re not the ones who were damaged or flawed.
it was just an inaccurate statement, or observation.

maybe it’s time to start running again.


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One thought on “the day i stopped running

  1. Words matter. A lot. And that’s why, as I read this, I want to sock someone in the eye who spoke those words to you! You’re awesome Tim. Keep running.

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