Open Lanes

I have said often that the surprise of my life is that I’m a professional athlete. As a child no one wanted me on their team in gym class and for good reason: I'm pretty unathletic. Growing up I did some swimming, skating and skiing lessons, but anything requiring hand-eye coordination or balance was a challenge (skating never clicked). One summer my mom and I decided to take golf lessons together just for fun, but except for putting I wasn’t actually able to make contact with the golf ball. My instructor finally suggested I try the swing with my eyes closed and that was the first time I hit the ball- with my eyes closed! It was during a track & field day at school that for the first time I could quite literally keep up with my peers, and in an instant my love for running began. 

 This is me at work.

This is me at work.

More than 2 decades later, I am still running, and along the way it has become my livelihood. Meanwhile in recent years I have discovered a second “life” surprise: this blog. 

Throughout my junior high and high school years I dreaded all writing assignments. Predictably, I disliked all homework, but studying for science tests and working pre-calc problem sets were greatly preferred over writing even a single-page double-spaced wide-margins text-size 14 paper. At the University of Michigan, my chosen major was Civil Engineering. People who hear this are often impressed, praising me for tackling a tough program, but honestly, engineering was the easier choice for me - there were no papers to write!

And so “blogger” is a word I never expected to use describing myself. Before agreeing to help me set up this website, Tony made me promise that I would write at least 3 blog entries and post them... neither of us expected my new writing ambition would go very far. It has now been quite a while since I’ve written, and I’ve wondered if my blogging days were over. Yet here I am, still typing, still writing, still blogging. 

Anyone who starts a blog and develops a base of readers quickly becomes familiar with the need for CONTENT. Every day people visit my website and I am very aware of how infrequently anything new is posted. But I am not really capable of producing any meaningful content on my own. God gives me ideas and inspiration to write about. Based on my previously strong dislike of writing it’s clear to me that His divine intervention caused me to start this blog, and will continue to carry it. 

These surprises in my life prove to me that God is real. That I am an athlete and write a blog are things I (and my parents for that matter) never saw coming. This evidence that God is working in me and through me, guiding every step of my life, amazes me. I’ve read about and have met people who listen for God’s direction and then act on it - living under His guidance - and I have always wanted that kind of confident faith, always prayed that the Lord would direct my life. Now, in a small way, but still very significant to me, I have become one of those people. I have actually received messages from readers who are encouraged, inspired, and motivated in their faith by THIS blog. It really is incredible to be working with the Lord on a tangible project. I can hardly believe it, and yet, God can use anyone for His good purposes, even me.

Furthermore, it is through this blog the Lord gave me an open lane to write about my faith - something that doesn’t often come up in conversation but is the best, most important aspect of who I am. If I could pick one thing for the world to know about me, it would be that I love Jesus. Amidst the busy-ness of my life there is a longing that cannot be quieted through great success, financial security, or even my loving family and friends. Only God can fill that void - in knowing Him I am offered peace that defies my understanding and circumstances. How is it possible to live with that peace without wanting to talk about it? For me it is not possible. This blog has given me the opportunity to share freely what the Lord is doing in me and for me; how He defines my whole life.

Yet, O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter. We are all the work of your hands.
— Isaiah 64:8
If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
— My Story, Big Daddy Weave