All my wife wanted for her birthday was to run a race with me. Better said, to run in the same race in which she would run much faster. Wishing to please and taking the not so subtle hint that some running would do me well, we signed up for the "Hot Chocolate Run" through downtown Philadelphia on April 7. My six-month training plan for the 5k consisted of one, 1-mile “wrun” the week before the race. A "wrun" is a unique mix of walking, running, and hunching over in pain that I have perfected. As we made our way to the starting line in unseasonably cold temperatures, Tricia tried to get me excited with the reminder of all the hot chocolate offered by the race. Despite my track record of diligent preparation, I had also forgot to bring a water bottle and found myself thirsty even before the shotgun went off. As I gratefully approached the first water station, I saw countless excited volunteers handing out white insulated cups that said "hot chocolate". “That’s strange,” I thought. Still traumatized from the few races I had done in the past, the relay exchange of water between me and volunteers was treacherous enough, not to mention my tendency to choke while trying to drink and run at the same time. Now, we are going to do it with scalding liquid? No thank you. I’ll wait for the water. At the next station, I grabbed a cup from a volunteer that looked like it might be water, but instead was some Gatorade-like concoction that did anything but quench my thirst. Now definitely wrunning, I began to get mad as I passed yet more volunteers with more hot chocolate. Crossing the finish line, I had no time for celebration. I marched right up to a race organizer and told them that they may want to think about putting water out on the course in addition to hot chocolate. The woman stared at me and said, “All of the white cups were water. Hot Chocolate is just the name of the race.” In my wrun through life and leadership, am I missing the help I say I need because it comes in packaging I wasn’t expecting? Am I too worried about how messy the hand-off might be or am I “reacting with meekness and humility"? Of the many outstretched hands placed along the race course of life, can I slow down enough to realize how many are that of the Lord? Blessings on your race.

by Daniel Cellucci

April 16, 2018

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