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by Trever Carter
Please note: for those of you who are unaware, a team of 30 of us—high school students and leaders—are traveling to Haiti July 15-22… please be praying for us!
So tonight, after mowing the lawn, I decided to go for a run. I was pent up on energy and just needed to do something. “Oh, it’s just a run,” some may think. But mind you, I am an asthmatic — a nebulizer using, air sucking, inhale- taking asthmatic. Running and I don’t get along the best.
But that’s beside the point.
I decided to take a run and ended up thinking about this blog post and spending some alone time with God. I wish I could’ve written while I ran … a stream of consciousness blog would have either been really beneficial and hilarious or super annoying. Well, it’s me, God—oh, squirrel—anyway, God …
My run went a little something like this: I drove to MacDonald’s Woods, parked my car, lathered on my bug spray and went off. I’ve run there before, but it’s not like I do it all the time. After running a bit, I reached a fork in the road, and I went right — my first mistake of the evening.
Instead of cutting straight to the inner, shorter loop that went around the lake and back to my starting point, I cut to the outside loop that went to every entrance to the forest preserve, which tacked on what felt like an extra two miles to the three I was planning on. Every time the path curved right instead of left, further lengthening the loop and distancing myself from closing it off, I got frustrated. Because I was tired, weary, sore, gasping for air. The path steered away from what I had planned out, the hills went up and down, and sometimes I just wanted to stop and walk. But I didn’t—I kept going, and the sun was setting above the lake, and I saw deer and rabbits and squirrels and breathed fresh summer air. As I finally made it back to the wood chip path that would lead me up to my car, a rabbit was there, not running away from me, but just keeping a few paces in front of me leading me up the path. And at the end of it, there were three more deer literally playing grab tail. I stopped and watched and sighed a deep breath of relief and finished jogging to my car.
And, strangely, it paralleled my feelings about Haiti. I was thinking about what God had to do with me, an ant in His eyes, in a country like Haiti. Me, Trever Carter, an upper-middle class white kid that lives a privileged life comparatively. My struggles are not the same as the Haitians, so what did I have to relate to them with? As the trip nears, my path keeps taking a bunch of rights. The medicine I need is more than I had budgeted for. Travel anxiety is getting to me. The logistics and magnitude of our projects seems much bigger than my scope. My paths aren’t necessarily going the way I thought. Though I’m eager and excited, pent up on energy (I still am, don’t misunderstand me here) much as I was for this run, I’m still getting anxious, skeptical, wondering, tired.
I can’t possibly make a difference in Haiti.
But I’m confident that I will. And if I can’t make a difference in Haiti, Haiti will surely make a difference in me. There are rabbits in this journey, urging me on and on, and deer, and beauty, and all the things that are making this trip so far wonderful—and we haven’t even left yet. There is surely to be a lot of things that will make the shots, the money, the pills, the anxiety all worth it. There has to be. Even though I wanted to walk, I’m just going to keep running with endurance. My heart is soft, my ears open, my eyes clear. Do with me what you please, God.
I was supposed to tell you all about our training camp this past weekend. Sure, I could’ve told you how they took our bags and didn’t give them back, how they made us walk from the middle of down town Lake Geneva to camp, how they woke us up with rooster crows at 5:00 a.m. … But instead, God had me go for a run. And this was a much better story.