Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My race day prayer: "I am ready for all"

Before Rocky Raccoon 100, I copied out this prayer by Charles de Foucauld into my journal:

Father, I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me what You will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all.
I accept all.


Let only Your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.


Into your hands I commend my soul.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart.
For I love you, Lord, and so need to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve and with boundless confidence,
For you are my Father.

During the race, I couldn't remember all of the prayer, but I repeated a few lines over and over: "God, I abandon myself into your hands with boundless confidence, for you are my Father."

To me, this meant that I would run with abandonment, not holding so much in reserve like I always do in ultras, afraid that I'll run out of steam.  It meant that I didn't need to be nervous about the outcome of the race, because whatever happened, it was in God's hands -- and He would take care of me.  

Just saying this to myself and committing to this attitude was helpful to me in the race.  But this prayer certainly isn't just for running.  I don't know much about St. Charles de Foucauld, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't an ultramarathoner.  This prayer and this attitude of abandonment and gratitude -- this commitment to trusting God -- is something I can recommit to every day.