Watching life unfold is like sitting in a movie theater wondering what quirky turn the script will take next. My first glimpse of how life rolls from one unexpected thing to the next was in college. A longtime boyfriend and I broke up on Monday and I met the love of my life on a blind date on Saturday. There’s no one I’d rather navigate with, through the unpredictable, than Jim Brawner. He makes me laugh even in the middle of stuff that bogs me down.

Life’s twists and turns can be exciting, disappointing, happy, sad, scary, or stunning. We never know what the next “and suddenly” will bring. I’ve learned the best bet is to strap in, hang on, and push forward with the faith God doesn’t make mistakes. Besides it would be so very boring to know what was going to happen next. That’s the reason, most of the time, it’s not fun watching a movie with anyone who has already seen it. They tend to blurt things out and spoil the enjoyment of the plot coming together.

I was listening to a CD the other day when I was driving back home from a couple of days with my sick Dad. The speaker was one of those crazy, obsessive ultra marathon runners. He had done a couple of 100 mile runs. He said his first goal was to finish in under 24 hours. Unbelievable! My goal would be to not die.

While he was training he interviewed several people who had done this type of run. “One simple piece of advice got me to the finish line,” he explained. “All along the 100 mile route there are aid stations set up for the runners to get replenished with food and water and even medical help if they need it. There are also plenty of people to cheer the runners on. I was told to ask, as I was leaving the aid station, how far it was to the next station. The answer was usually five miles. I would say to myself, ‘I can go five miles,’ and then take off. I made the entire 100 miles in five mile increments because my target was the next aid station.”

What great advice. Really that’s a powerful mindset to keep anytime the unexpected takes us through some grueling stretches. The whole route may be overwhelming, but broken down in to small segments, it’s doable. Stop, refuel, be encouraged, take a deep breath and go only five miles to the next aid station.

“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

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