Have you ever walked or ran in a 5K? The first one I walked was several years ago and I was so excited to do it that the time just seemed to fly by. Then, I did several more, harder courses. And in some of those 5Ks I thought, long about mile 2, that I had made a huge mistake. I considered feigning an injury so someone in a bright yellow vest and an ATV would come get me and take me back to the cold water and bananas that were waiting at the finish line. Hey! I would have still finished the race…..just….unconventionally.

But there’s no honor in that is there? Taking the easy road.

I’ve just started reading the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin and there are characters that have honor and some that do not. And it seems like the ones with honor, more often than not, end up with their head on a spike.

And sometimes it feels that way in life too. That those who try the hardest to do the right thing end up paying a heavy price at the hands of those who only care about money, or power, or control.

I work in a business world that is full of egos, competition, and eggshells. Being a woman in this setting can be a struggle. If you talk to much, people think you’re demanding and obnoxious. If you talk to little, people thing you’re indifferent and timid. Sometimes it feels as though there truly is no winning for losing. The double standard gets to me. Often.

But eventually, I settle down and take some deep breaths and start thinking…..and thinking….and eventually my thoughts rest on my daughter. I see her face. I hear her talking about all the things she wants to do. And it motivates me in a way nothing else does. Because I don’t want my daughter to EVER not do something because a stereotype has whispered in her mind that she is incapable. The older I get, the more bogged down I get in the inequality of men and women in the workplace, and the more I have to fight those whispers myself. Because, over time, you start believing them.

I’m coming to some crossroads in my professional life where I will have decisions to make about what the rest of it looks like. I’m getting to an age where switching jobs too frequently would likely leave me unemployed at some point and painted as an undesirable job candidate. As I said, I’m COMING to the crossroads…..I’m not there yet, but, as I am prone to do, I’m already thinking 3 moves ahead of where I am. And I feel like I’m at mile 2 of that 5K, so close, but still a lot of slogging through to get to the finish line. And it’s going to require a great strength of mind to get there. So I think it’s fitting that my Lenten lesson today was about “pushing through”. Pushing through the everyday demands and issues and disappointments that wear us down. Pushing through, but not alone. Never alone. Because even when His presence feels like it is light years away, it isn’t. God’s love, his new mercies, his strength for the journey is there. And He will push through with us.