Unexpected Tears

The joke in my family has long been that I am dead inside. I don't cry at sad movies or sappy commercials or even at funerals. But there is one time and place where I can predictably find myself welling up:

At races.

Yep. If I'm a spectator at a 5K, a half marathon, a marathon, or a triathlon, you can count on me getting a little weepy. I know. That's weird. It is one of the weirdest things about my totally weird self. But it is also not weird if you think about it. Those races, especially the long ones, are a beautiful demonstration of the power we carry within us. There is, of course, the physical aspect. People are pushing their bodies to the limits, they are showing what it is to be strong, fit, lean, and fast. It is a thing of beauty. There is also the mental aspect, and often, it is this element that pushes me over the edge. When you consider the discipline, the focus, the sacrifices, and the effort these events demand - even for the totally able-bodied - you should stand in admiration. You should cheer their spirit and feel your own lifted as they run past. And when you can see the obstacles facing a competitor, when that runner is using a handcycle, or pushing a disabled adult child in a jogcycle, or running on a prosthetic limb, you should feel that spirit soar.

It is weird. But it is reflective of who I am, and Frederick Buechner has a word or two to say on that subject:
Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next. 

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