Do you remember the presidential fitness test?
Elementary kids across the country tried their hand at five fitness categories to earn a certificate signed by the President of the United States.
The run was no big deal. Sit-ups and push-ups went okay, but the v-sit and reach proved impossible for me.
Sitting on the ground with our legs apart, we leaned forward with reaching hands. A piece of tape on the floor marked the required distance, and we had to hold the position for three seconds.
I could not reach far enough.
I sat and practiced all through gym and again when I got home.
When it was time for the test, I failed.
I was several centimeters short.
And incredibly embarrassed.
The yellow tape was just too far away for my reach.
From my perspective, I was the only 5th grader in the United States of America that could not reach.
I was mortified.
But I had a great teacher.
She read the rules.
And she told me that it did not say I could not have help.
And so she grabbed a friend.
And she smiled reassuringly.
She sat my friend down in front of me, touched her feet to mine and told her to grab my hands and pull them towards the tape.
She held my fingers against the yellow tape for three seconds.
I made it.
We made it.
I reached it.
And we smiled.
Hank is growing.
He slid off my bed this morning, and his big brown eyes still peeked up at me over the covers.
When did he get so tall?
I notice his reach these days.
Often accompanied by tip-toes, he’s always reaching.
For things he loves.
Sometimes I wish I could reach further.
I try to do it alone until I fall several centimeters short.
Then I remember I’ve read the rules.
And there’s nothing that says I can’t have help.
He reaches my reaching.
The fact that an all-knowing all-powerful Being can reach and touch a situation, a life, reveals much about His character.
And we are seen.
And so I reach for Jesus.
and with Jesus.
and I find it’s enough.
That makes me happy.
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My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!