adjective, contented; pleased: satisfied customers | she was very satisfied with the results.
As I finished my 10K and Half Marathon, I felt “satisfied.” Not proud, not elated. Satisfied. Throughout the run I felt many things – pain, exhaustion, thrill, “this is cool!”, joy. But in the end it was satisfaction that won out.
Thousands of runners surrounded me those warm mornings in August, each with their own stories and reasons for running. Some, I am sure who just love running and the events, driven by the endorphins. Some though had personal journeys of overcoming. I saw a few who wore signs on their backs explaining how earlier in life they could not walk, or they were in chemo, or… Their stories were of triumph. Still others were running for a cause, for a sick friend or family member. In memory of one perhaps. But we were all running and as we crossed the finish line I hope they each felt the satisfaction I felt. It was palpable. I have been pleased before in a job well done, but this was an over-the-top level of “satisfaction.”
Perhaps because of the depth my journey had taken me. Perhaps because I was so exhausted, I had no energy to muster anything else. No, I did, and satisfied was the right and full feeling at the moment.
Throughout the run I was amazed at the power of encouragement by total strangers. Disney had arranged for school marching bands and cheer squads to be all along the route. The Angels Stadium was seriously full of scout troops, clubs of all kinds, friends of runners, and more. Hundreds of people brought out their classic cars and lined the miles of the route. They sat by their cars ringing bells and cheering us. Occasionally some of the “strangers” would see my name on my bib and say something like, “Good job Len, keep going.” Others would see the St. Jude singlet I was wearing and thank me for running for that cause. In all this I found strength to keep going. And then near the finish line I saw my wife and friends who where there for just for me – their yells and cheers drilled deep. I became emotional as I got closer, crossing the line I raised my arms in celebration!
This gave me new context for the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews!
Throughout this entire journey I have learned so much about running – this experience in particular about the right salt intake and hydration needed, how to navigate the amount of fellow runners, pacing myself, and more. I have learned about weight loss and exercise. I have more importantly learned about resolving my “issues.”
But most of all I have learned and experienced deep spiritual lessons.
The imagery throughout the Bible of running the race, finishing well, is so much more real to me. Metaphors and illustrations make so much more sense when you can relate to them. I am discovering to greater degree that God satisfies my soul. That His grace and trusting in Him is “enough.” That along the run (of life), I will pull a muscle or tire out, but the cheering crowds can bolster me to find the strength to go on and finish…well.
I can with greater confidence and contentment say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” I am content, not wanting for anything else. Satisfied. Pride, joy, celebration, these are all great feelings when we accomplish a life well lived in God. But I have discovered the power of being satisfied, and to me that is so much more powerful and fulfilling.
Dear Father, I pray for every reader who passes over my words here to know and experience the satisfaction that only you can offer. You truly are “enough” and may we all come to experience that. Amen.