Does God ever talk to you through your iPod? I need to tell you about my morning in Uganda. I got out of our apartment compound about 7:00am and started walking up the dirt road. I like to walk for a while to get my feet and legs loosened up before I start running. I was listening to the Zac Brown Band singing “Toes”, but I was thinking about my feet. As many of you know, I was born with clubbed feet. My feet were twisted inwardly and my toes towards my head, so that my “ankle bone” was pointing straight down. I was thinking about my feet, first of all, because they creak and moan until I get loose when I go out for a run. The second reason that I was thinking about my feet is because of a girl that I saw in Buloba this week.
Tuesday and Wednesday, we went to Buloba, a rural suburb of Kampala to the NW, and did health screenings on the 250 school children there. They are a delightful bunch, and we enjoyed our time there. One girl I met there is named Ritah. She is 12 years old and the reason that she made a mark on me, more than the others, is because she had clubbed feet. Unlike me, however, she did not have the medical care access, determined parents, and a Dr. Amspatcher available. She gets around slowly, walking on the outside of her feet, down near the little toe. She is happy and well received by the other children in Buloba, but I was thinking about Ritah as I headed out for a run on my surgically repaired feet.
At 7:00am in the morning, many children are walking in our neighborhood, on their way to school. I had smiled and talked to several of them as I was walking to get loose. Don’t get me wrong, I am never a graceful runner, but as I first start running, I hitch and limp and stumble as I get my joints lubricated. Jill’s Uncle Edward (a great American philosopher), once told me that “Some people are built for running, and some are built for pulling. And you are built for pulling”! So here I am the grey haired white guy, looking quite awkward as I start my run. Just then, Weird Al starts to sing “White and Nerdy” to me. I thought that was funny, until I got about 100 yards into my run, and 3 boys (probably 8-10 years old) started to run with me. I was hoping that none of them would ask, but then they did, “what are you listening to”? I quickly realized that I did not want to tell them that I was listening to Weird Al, but I am so uncool, that I did not know what cool lie to make up to tell them. I mean, who would they think was cool to be listening to? I skipped to the next song, Miley Cyrus singing “The Climb”. Uggh! I am not going to look cool on this one at all! I played off the question and the boys stopped running when we came to their school. I started listening to Lecrae’s “Hallelujah”, as I continued my run. One of the lines in this song says, “I’m not here to IMPRESS, I’m here to IMPACT”! Ok, now God is talking to me through my iPod. I get it. I should be less concerned about trying to impress people (especially these 10 year old boys), and more in to impacting people for Christ. We are called to be set apart and to be different, not to fit in or impress.
As I continued my run, which is no longer on a treadmill but on a dirt road with hills and potholes, I thought about the race that I am running and how I could improve it. I concluded that I need to pray for wisdom of ways to impact people, in any way that He sees fit. It is ok if I look like a “puller” while I am running, because it is not about style, but substance. I was agreeing with what God had told me, when He decided to make sure that I understood that it does not matter what people think. As I was running under a tree, that hangs over the road, I felt something warm hit my forehead, my left wrist, and my left leg. I looked down, and there was bird poop all over me! I was about ¼ mile from home, with all of the school kids still making their way to class. Point taken.
I could not decide what to name this blog. With my Nike running shirt, I thought about naming it Just Doo it. Instead, I decided to name it Doo ON to others!
I hope you Impact someone today!