Yesterday I failed. I attempted to run the Houston Marathon which had a cutoff time an hour faster than I'd run a marathon before and I couldn't do it. It was a failed attempt. I have to admit, there was a day I confused failing at something with being a failure. But sitting on the bus back to the finish line with a group of other runners who also failed at their attempt, I didn't for a second feel like a failure.
A turning point in my life came when I realized 100% of my value comes in the reality God loves me no matter what. He loves and enjoys that I'm a runner, but he doesn't love me BECAUSE I'm a runner. The Houston Marathon finish line was going to add or subtract nothing to his love for me.
On the bus back to the finish line I knew people were waiting on me who looked at me like God does. First, my wife and my boys. My wife was already texting messages of encouragement and love. She was the first to begin loving me like God does. And there was no doubt in my mind my boys' hugs would be filled with as much love and "my dad's the best" as they always were. And I was right. "Good job dad" means more when you fail than when you succeed. I have a family that loves that I run, but they don't love me BECAUSE I run.
Then there's the Megsmiles family there with me. When I walked up to them they applauded. I had failed. I had no medal. But in their eyes I wasn't a failure. They are all such beautiful reflections of God's love. We are a group of passionate runners, but we passionately love one another not because we run, but because we are runners created in IN HIS love.
And all of the messages of love from friends and family not there - all with the same love. I am humbled and grateful.
But here's the thing. I knew that's the response I would get. I know I'm surrounded by love. And I guess that's why I and we came to Houston to begin with. To let people who might not be as sure that people love them, that people are there to pick them up when they are struggling, who don't have the kind of family that I have here. I wanted the people of Houston to be wrapped in a megsmiles kind of love.
And with that my friends, I and we did not fail. God's love for the people of Houston was delivered. No marathon finish would have added to that. No failed attempt takes anything away.
I truly love you all and appreciate the person you are helping me become - because of you I've gotten much better at understanding the difference between fail and failure.
Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)
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