Last November, I was registered to run the Richmond Marathon. Then, I injured my hip. I notified the Richmond Marathon of my injury, and they graciously allowed me to defer my registration to this November. Then, I injured my knee.
Many people have told me that they are praying that I am able to run the marathon next November.
I began running marathons in 2007 with a group from the Oakmont Baptist Church of Greenville, North Carolina who proudly call themselves: “Oakmont Runners for Bo.” Bo was the only son of Rev. Beth and Tommy Thompson. Bo, a high school track star, was tragically killed in a car accident shortly after I took up running. I ran my first marathon with the group wearing a shirt bearing Bo’s name.
Running in Bo’s memory has helped me to keep life in perspective. It has also influenced my prayer life. Having been given the gift of nearly thirty years on this earth longer than Bo, thirty undeserved years, it is very difficult for me to pray for a pain-free hip or for comfortable knees.
Instead, I pray thanking God that I had the health and the ability to run and to risk injury. I pray thanking God that I have lived long enough to run almost 20 marathons. Instead of praying that I may be able to run another race, I pray thanking God that I was ever able to run any race.
I am afraid that too much of our prayer life is about asking God for more things, instead of about thanking God for the things we have. More often than not, we pray for God to keep us safe and secure from all alarms, instead of praising God for the inexplicable gift of life where risk and injury are inherent.
This Thanksgiving Season, may we truly count our blessings and name them one by one: life; breath; mobility; sunrises and sunsets; cups of coffee with a friend; sitting on the porch watching the rain; a warm embrace; love; and the list goes on and on and on.