Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A Tale Of Two Pictures

Two weekends ago, I ran a great parkrun. The weather was fine, I felt strong, and I clocked a sub-26 5K for the first time in weeks. I felt really good during the run and then, afterward, felt even better when a runner whom I really admire (she's a machine!) commented on my parkrun pic that I had great form and made it look easy. Cue warm fuzzies all around!

Photo credit: Jeff Stark.

But then last Saturday, a mere seven days later, this happened... Bad form, bad posture, and a look of exhaustion that's enough to make even the onlookers tired. In all honesty, I did have a really bad run, with zero energy and lead in my legs for the entire 5 kays. I was nonetheless rather surprised when a sweet fellow parkrunner asked if I was okay post-run. But one look at my running pic for the day and the reason for their concern became glaringly obvious, ha!

Photo credit: Jeff Stark.

So why am I sharing this unflattering picture (and I have a whole collection of them!) with you? Because, in the past, I would have allowed it to steal all my joy. I would have looked at it and, in an instant, let it rob me of all the pleasure that I derived from a specific run. Why? Because somehow, subconsciously, I felt that my worth was based, at least in part, on how I looked. If I looked good on a running (or any!) picture, I'd feel happy and confident, but if I looked terrible, I'd feel discouraged and disappointed. 

But you know what? These past few weeks I've really been reminded again that our worth is determined by one thing, and one thing alone: The price that was paid for us on the Cross. We're loved. We're chosen. And we're rejoiced over with singing. And that's something that will never, ever change. Yes, we mess up and yes, we sometimes look a mess. But our worth and value, in Christ, will never, ever change.

So for me, this unflattering blooper was actually a mini celebration. Because for the first time in a long, long while (maybe ever...?), my first reaction when I saw it, was a sincere giggle, and not a feeling of disappointment or shame. After being reminded of my true worth - as it is written in the Word - for the past few weeks, I could see the picture for what it truly was. It was simply an unflattering picture of a very tired, but still worthy, child of God.    

Don't make the same mistake that I did for all of those years!



  1. I have some terrible race pictures I'd never dream of publishing in my blog, but I smile and treasure them in the knowledge that the ungainly style, thrashing arms and screwed up face were all signs of 'persistence to win the race set before me'.
    Neglect not the gift that is in thee.....however foolish you might look to others!

    1. Well said, Gordon - I couldn't agree more! Hope you're feeling better!


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