THE FRONT OF THE LINE
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I was thinking about a time last year when I went for a morning walk around the track at our local community park. I got up early that morning ready to give my body the exercise that it had been starving for.
I remember being glad that others were out walking as well.
I guess you could call me Rocky on the come back!
All of the pros were suited up and doing leg stretches in order to get prepared.
It reminded me of my first experience flying first class with Delta Airlines.
I'll never forget that day.
There I was, in First Class, by default.
The guy who owned the first class seat wanted to keep flirting with the young lady that He was talking to before we boarded the airplane. Her seat was in the back on a wing next to yours truly.
Now that I think about it, I wonder if the company that She worked for was cheap also.
I can handle this, I thought.
May I take your coat?" asked the stewardess.
Where is she going to take it?
I told myself, this is easy, Cassandra, you deserve this,
just watch what everybody else is doing, and duplicate it.
I remember wondering if anyone saw me put that microphone plug that was used to hear the movie, in the hole next to the ashtray!
Oh, the shame, the shame, the shame!
Please track for my next article entitled "First Class All The Way for the details."
Anyway, I paid close attention to what seemed like the more experienced joggers that morning as they began to stretch.
And being the good little girl that I was, I did the same.
The moment of truth finally arrived when it was time to get on the track. As time moved slowly along, I began to notice that the people who started with me were now walking rings around me. Suddenly, I felt a wave of discouragement try to hit.
I thought to myself, here I go again at the end of the line. It reminded me of my experience on my high school freshman track team.
There I was, the sister of a star athlete determined to make a name for myself.
Any old name would do, I just wanted to be famous in my own right. (smile)
It was freshman competition, all of us on an even starting point when my feet left the starting block before the gun went off.
I remember hearing the official say "premature start - this runner shall receive one penalty."
That will preach all by itself!
So, I got settled into the starter's block again, determined not to start too soon. The gun went off, and it was as if these girls grew legs as they began to kick dust in my face.
Rather than face the agony of defeat, I ran off of the field crying. The ride home with my Daddy in His orange Ford pick up truck with the black stripes on the sides was a long one!
About as long as my description of that truck. (smile)
My Daddy was especially quiet that evening. As a matter of fact, He did not say a word to me all the way home.
I just couldn't take the silence any longer, so I asked,
"Daddy, are you mad because I lost?"
Through my tears, I waited to hear Him tell me how ashamed He was of me.
I will never forget my Father's answer; and will forever love Him for it.
My Daddy in the calmest, kindest voice said to me "Cassy, I am not mad that you lost."
He said "If you had to make everybody at that stadium wait until you came across that finish line, so be it -- but never quit."
With that in the back of my mind, I continued on my walk of shame at the local community park that morning vowing not to defeat myself again.
I told myself that I was not in competition with anyone out there anyway. Although, I could not help but notice that this lady in the gray sweats has passed me twice already.
Then out of no where, I came across an elderly couple who seemed to be more courting that exercising. I tried to remember if I had seen them earlier. Then, I told myself that maybe they were a part of that last wave of people that left me in the dust.
As I proceeded to pass them, the lady told Her husband, "Honey, this young lady sure does look like she is headed somewhere."
Words began to come out of my mouth before I could stop them. I answered, "Mam, I am at the end of the line.”
And her husband smiled and said, “It's all in the way that you choose to look at it."
He said, you can choose to consider yourself either at the end of this line, or the one that is leading the pack."
He said, "After all, its just one big circle anyway."
What is God saying?
As a man thinketh in His heart, so is He. Proverbs 23:7
Copyright ©2004 Cassandra Grant
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