Sunday, August 14, 2011

Victory lap

I saw the lady in Ring Two with a cane walking the agility course with the other handlers. I assumed she was counseling someone else out there, preparing to run their dog. She had very short hair, like she had perhaps just finished a round of chemo for cancer and it was only just begun to grow back. She did not move easily and leaned heavily on the cane.

Then I became distracted by all the dogs running in Ring One, and only glanced back at Ring Two when I heard a roar of cheering. The lady with the cane was finishing the run with her dog! All I caught was the dog clearing the last jump. The lady shook a victorious fist in the air, and then her legs slowly began to crumple. She fought to remain upright, but it was clear her body had other plans. As she slowly struggled to remain upright, three other dog handlers came rushing onto the field. They held her up and then half carried her to a chair alongside the ring. Her dog followed, prancing.

Asherel and Honeybun did a wonderful job. No "Q's" (qualify) or ribbons today, but good, fast runs with some wonderful portions. It was a long day, starting at 5:30 a.m. and not ending till 5 pm.  If I was exhausted, I can't imagine how the lady with the cane felt. I would suspect very tired, but elated. Born aloft by a goal, and courage;  fighting to the last ounce of strength to finish a run around an impossible stretch.

Our homeschool is back in session Monday. Like every year, I am looking at the list of subjects and extracurriculars we need to tackle this first year of highschool, and I am certain, like I am every year, that it is impossible. We cannot do it. I have never been able to do it. After twenty years of doing it, I still know it cannot be done. Not on my own power.

But this Monday morning, I will keep in my heart not just the the verse, "All things are possible with God", but the image of a dog and a lady with very short hair and a cane, running in the agility trial, who doesn't collapse till she crosses the finish line. And then it is ok.

Psalm 37:23-25

 23 The LORD makes firm the steps
   of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
   for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

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