Not so much about not.

“I’m not an athlete.”

That’s one of many items on my “not” list.

Some of them are true. “I’m not a diesel mechanic” is verifiable.

Some of them are not. “I hate people” is something I say from time to time, in spite of my mother’s opposition to the word hate. And I don’t hate people. Or even individual persons.

You and I both understand “not” lists. I hear them regularly, “I’m not very good at this.” “I’m not competent.” “I’m not worth paying attention to.”

I argue with them often. “You do know how to care for patients.” “You did awesome at that.”

Though, I must confess, I do less well at arguing with them when I hear those statements coming from the mirror.

I’m realizing that we remember exceptions better than we remember consistency. We remember what we think happened better than what actually happened. We remember what we think people may be thinking better than we remember just about anything.

When I look at this picture, I can choose to remember the time on the clock at the end of the run. Or, I can remember that we explored a waterwheel from the 1800s, we walked down to a creek, and we spent time trying to find the right place for this photo. And I can remember that the point of our trip to Germany wasn’t to run a certain pace for an informal 5K. It wasn’t to see sights. It was to see Andrew and get glimpses of his life.

It’s possible that when God looks at our picture, he’s not nearly as worried about our pace as we are. He’s looking with deep affection. And a desire to run with us whatever the speed, wherever the trail goes.

Because, of course, it’s possible that was the point of his trip.