To Be First...

7th Grade pointed me in a direction that I would never have imagined for myself. I was always an athletic/tom-boy of a girl who was very competitive with others as well as myself. I grew up in a family of tall basketball players. My father, who is 6' 6", gave each of us kids the genetics to be basketball players. Although I started out smaller and thought I would never have the height of my siblings I still saw basketball as my sport. So in 7th grade, when school sports start in public school, I signed up for athletics. Little did I know that in order to play basketball, though, I also had to play volleyball and run track. All three sports were part of the athletic program and had to be participated in. This was a bit of a bummer to me at first. I didn't want to waste my time with other sports. The year passed like this, basket ball in the fall, then volleyball, then spring came and with it track and field. (Imagine a choir of angels "AHHHHHHHHH! Track and Field! AHHHHHH!) That spring began an life of addiction. My addiction to running. Oh how I loved it. I loved the challenge. The challenge of track meets competing with each other and the training days competing with myself. Each year I looked forward to the spring and eventually by high school I dropped all other sports and just ran. I quickly identified my strengths in track. I was/am a long distance runner. Basically my legs have no speed but can go on and on. Eventually my times got faster and faster and each track meet I came home with medals. 8th place turned to 6th place and eventually 4th. Each race I ran I placed in the top 8 and this meant my school team got points. My coaches and team were happy to have me in so many events because it meant a lot of points. I wasn't satisfied though. One of my best friends was faster. Although I trained harder and more often than her she had a gift that I couldn't top. My coach told me once that she wished my friend had my determination and work ethic because then she could be one of the best runners in the state. I didn't wish that for my friend though. I wanted her gift. I wanted the first place medals. I expressed this to my coach and she showed me something that would stick with me. Each track meet my friend ran one race and she won every time. That means that she made 10 points for our school team each track meet. I, on the other hand, competed in 5 events and for our biggest track meet, at the end of the year, I placed 3rd, 2nd, 6th, 4th, and 4th in the events. That means I made 27 points for my team. I blew away my friends points but I never had the cheers from the crowd as I came across 1st. I never had records I was breaking. I never knew the feeling of being the best. This was hard because I loved running so much and I loved the competition, but eventually what I learned from this overlapped into my adult life. The Lord will and does use any person who is willing to follow Him. Our goal cannot be I want to be the next Billy Graham but, "I want the Lord to speak through my life and reach whomever/however He wishes." I will spend my time reminding myself that the person on the plane next to me is just as valuable, in the big picture, as the hundreds that may come to a large church on Sunday morning. I can't be shy in telling the truth just because I am not a pastor or Billy Graham. I am Sarah MacIntosh and the Lord can use me.... Remember today Luke 15:10

"I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Posted on June 2, 2010 and filed under Anything and Everything, Running and Ruminating.