April 02, 2012

Runnin' like a Fool

I've just gotten back from "The Arena." I was there for about 3.5 days.
Then on April Fool's Day I ran a 10k in Singapore with my husband and our 15 year old friend, Caleb. Caleb's parents and siblings and our kids all had to be woken up at the booty crack of dawn to be a part of what the three of us have spent 3 months training to do. It wouldn't have worked without them.
But wait, "The Arena" you say? What's that?
I'll tell you. It's a nickname for the place my head went. It was an accomplishment but I kept my family fed and even did the laundry while I read the Hunger Games series and was processing all that happens in Panem and all the districts.
I won't be a spoiler or give a long summary. What I will say is that the characters in the book, no matter how "new" and creative a story Suzanne Collins has written, are people who fall into the category that wise ol' King Solomon wrote about thousands of years ago when he looked at his life and the world around him and gave a pretty grim picture of humanity. Ecclesiastes? Heard of it? It's about people in need of more hope than any of us can ever muster on earth, vying for power that should be handed over to the One who IS Power, and ultimately, people suffering and working their way through a world damaged and saturated by sin.  It was a crazy dark mess of thoughts up in here for a few days.
I know whatch'all thinkin, "Girl. Adolescent fiction gettin' you down in the dumps? You gots issues."

Guilty on all charges. But stay with me anyway.

Wait, before you continue, I have to stop and say that the picture of me running is for my sister Heather. Heathas, you see my calf-muscle? It's like a tiny little triumphant bump in the face of genetics and decades of generational chicken legs. BOOYA!

Ok, now, keep going...

Collins wrote so that people would be affected. I'm not sure what her ultimate agenda was, but surely part of it is meant to throw our ugly in our face.  If we don't ignore the ugly, then there's real potential for awesomeness to happen in our hearts. EVEN over something trendy like another story about 2 teenage boys and one teenage girl battling an enemy.

 As I ran, I found myself working through the tension I felt when I got done with the books. Sorted through the some of the ugly in me and around me. Not because of the talent of a gifted writer, but because the Lord can speak truth into anything through His Word.

And I ain't joking when I say God even spoke to me over Beastie Boys playing in my ear buds.
The Arena is, in my opinion, a very intense, loaded picture of life in general, but written in book form. I think Solomon said it best, "There's nothing new under the sun." Then Jesus gave the alternative to a life of self-fulfillment through selfish gain when He described life in HIS kingdom, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself."

Katniss, Peeta, Gale, President Snow, Haymitch (who I love, by the way), Effie, Prim...the whole lot of them need a big fat dose of God's love.
 And I know because I got a taste of it as I came up on the 8km mark and Mr. & Mrs. Sivad, B, H, and my kiddos were all there cheering me on. They were proud of me as I crossed the finish line.  Since Anthony is Mr. Sexy Legs and has calf-muscles that can propel him forward faster than my boo-boo-chicken sized ones, he finished first. But I got across the line in time to become a cheerleader myself and root Caleb on to a great finish. 

To know I didn't do it all alone. Hearing Love speak to my heart straight outta the tap while I ran, and then gettin' and givin' some practical love right there at the finish line. It was just enough of the good stuff to get me the heck out of the Arena and back to reality...understanding again and better how life in the Kingdom is supposed to work.

I'd call that a good race, Sweetheart!


Brandon and April said...

Way to go you guys!! Can't wait to go for a run with you!
After lots of nudging from his wife, Brandon finally gave in and read the first book...and could barely put it down. Yes, Mr. "I haven't read any fiction since my freshman year in College" is even enjoying the books. We're having all sorts of "how does this relate to our world" conversations! Love it. Love me a book that's easy to read yet challenges me to examine how better to apply scripture to my life!
Now, if only we can figure out how to see the movie in a dagum theatre!

Anthony & Sharon said...

April dear, remember in my last post how I said I have no problems with movie piracy? I'll be sure to take you to our guy so you can get your very own copy in June...or if you'd rather, I'll get you a copy myself and have it waiting for you on arrival.

Emily said...

I'm like you - I was so upset reading their hopelessness with death, and also the time in the Arena when she was questioning what to do next, and I kept wanting to shout - "Ask God!!" I found it so interesting there was not even a remote mention of God in the book (that I can remember) though in the movie at one point she said, "Oh my god!" That line stood out as so out of place to me.

Heather Diaz said...

Great post. Thanks for the calf muscle shot. I think the reason the book was so dark was because of the hopelessness. I found myself saying some of the exact same things after I was done reading the series. I was a ble to rest in the hopefulness of my salvation and in the fact that my children share in the same Hope!!

Can't wait until November....

Jason and Charity Palmer said...

Really love this post. And really agree with you. And think you guys are awesome-sauce for running it up! P.S...your lookin' good post-baby, mama!