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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)

TITLE: Rhythm Of My Steps
By Noreen Ophoff


Running. I'm running. The measured rhythm of my steps echo on the pavement. This is the most difficult marathon I've participated in, to date. This course is all uphill, with the finish line at the top.

Who mapped this course? The design has sharp turns. Jagged rocks like daggers wait for any misstep. I must be careful of every footfall. I have to concentrate intensely.

My fellow runners are behind me, yet I dare not become too comfortable with my lead. They too are determined--not just to finish--but to win.

The earthquake a week ago left cracks in the roadway. Sometimes I have to leap over the gouges to continue my quest. My legs feel numb, heavy with fatigue. Sweat is dripping from my striving body. My clothes are sticking to me. Tears are ready to fall due to my straining effort to continue.

There are hurdles coming into view. Hurdles in the midst of a marathon--I've never known of this before. I'm good at hurdles and I clear the first one with no problem. I'm tired, but there are more jumps ahead of me.

Someone behind me is closing the gap between us; anxious thoughts zip through my mind. I have to keep running, pacing my energy resources to the end, whatever that will bring.

The course of this marathon in my life right now. My husband has a growth on his left lung. The uphill run symbolizes the doctors he has seen and will see. The hurdles are the tests he's had, and the awful ones to come. The gaps in the course are the pitfalls. When you are laid off from work, as he is, there's no health insurance. This uphill climb is arduous. I'd rather just sleep, not run; but I don't know how to give up.

Jesus has sent caring people into our lives to listen to our fears, to pace us in our race. We're all praying for a clear diagnosis, and a trailway back to health. We've run many marathons before this, we've conquered other mazes of time and circumstances.

I keep running, running.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanney Uthe02/22/07
Wow! Great illustration of the struggles of life. Even though a marathon seems endless there is a finish line. I like the analogy a lot. Keep running and keep writing.
Jan Ackerson 02/23/07
The part that most touched me was "I'd rather just sleep..." I've been there. When you can't run, walk--or crawl. You'll get to the prize that way, too.

Very well put.
Jacquelyn Horne02/24/07
The tougher the journey, the greater the grace. You're right. We've just got to keep running.
Kathie Thomas02/24/07
Thanks for the explanation of what it represented and yes, I can fully equate with what you're going through. It is a good way to describe it. My prayers are with you and your husband.
Michelle Burkhardt02/27/07
I am so sorry to hear of your uphill stresses. With everything going on in your life I pray that God is giving you and your husband peace and strength. Nice way to connect the topic to your real life battles.