As with any race, or journey for that matter, there is always something to learn. I found myself a bit reflective with this one. This journey for me started just about 6 years ago. As you can attest to, lots of things happen over the span of 6 years. Within these crazy years of running, I decided to take some inventory.
The Lord has allowed this flesh & bone body to endure 4 full marathons, 17 half-marathons, one quarter-marathon, a hand-full of four-milers and 5ks, 2 triathlons, shoes too numerous to count, and mileage in the thousands.
I say all this not to be puffed up, but instead to boast in the One who gets all the credit. I say this not because it “sounds great” but that I fully know my weakness.
It still hurts every time.
Yes, I know, the questions begs, “well then why do you do it?”
I do it because He asked me to.
I do it because in my weakness, there is the reminder of His strength.
I do it because to Him, it matters.
Every time I want to quit, I remember.
I remember the days of training in which my mind was focused on the preparation for race day. I remember that I don’t need to look too far ahead, I just need to take the next step, to reach the next “marker”. I remember that if it was easy, the rewards would not be so great. I remember that today, I can, especially when many others can’t. I remember that my children are watching. I remember that in doing my best, I win every time. I remember that it matters. Pain, for the moment, is temporary.
I needed to remember. I read past thoughts. I viewed past pictures. I recalled lesson upon lesson. You see, somewhere along the way, that same joy, the one I could in the faces of the first-time racers, had somehow fizzled out. This wasn’t just another race, this was another mile marker in life.
Today, we came together as a “team” with 30 other participants and spectators wearing a shirt that said – Rock City Church. In the heart of a downtown city, God was reaching out. It’s not about the building where we gather, it’s not about the denomination, it’s not about worship style, it’s not about preaching. It’s about the team.
In a silly analogy, at this moment in our lives, we all take a position somewhere in the “race”. We might be at the starting line of our faith, we may be a spectator, we may be running at mile 2, we may be leading the pack, we may be serving at a water stop, we may be cheering others towards their finish line, we may be the announcer calling out the finishing times. No matter where we are, the finish line of our life will come. What happens to us at the finish line? It all depends on what “team” we’re running with. THAT’s what matters. That’s why I run.
Aaron, I can’t thank you enough for having the courage and the persistence to join me in this adventure. Sharing this part of the journey with you has lifted me up more times than you will ever comprehend.
To my Jesus, I love you.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.