What an emotional day. I trained for this day for months! I never dreamed that I would race in a half marathon! I’m so thankful for the encouragement of many friends and family who challenged me to do this. After what seemed like a lifetime of bronchitis, I never thought to take up running until I realized that the children of Cambodia and Thailand face even greater challenges – they are in desperate need of a Savior, and a safe home. Racing with visions of the children that I see on the streets of Battambang and Wiang Pa Pao, I press on with the promise that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!
I soaked in so much beauty this morning, from the picturesque route to the contagious enthusiasm of the spectators that cheered us on throughout the whole route. Crossing the Ohio River into Beautiful Kentucky with its rolling hills; local musicians playing popular covers to encourage the athletes. A park-side gazebo overlooking a shimmering lake welcomed me into the uphill trek through the conservatory. I chuckled at the sight of two young ladies at mile 10 holding signs reading, “Run no more guys. We’re right here and we’re single.” Common sense must have escaped them, otherwise they would’ve been standing at the finish line with those signs where the gentlemen might have picked up these dream girls.
The signs reminded me of how easy it is to get off course with life. Sometimes we get tunnel vision of the plans that we have for our own lives – our dream job, dream home, ideal spouse, hopes for our children. Sometimes we remove God from the equation, and we find ourselves behaving like those desperate girls settling for anyone who will give us attention. Or maybe, we’re that guy who sees an available girl and thinks “hmm a massage would be really nice right now…”
In life’s race, it’s crucial to keep a mindset of endurance. Hebrews 12:1-2 says it best “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”
As I prepare for another Bucket List goal – running a full marathon, I look back on the lessons I at Flying Pig two years ago. Diet is crucial; hydration critical. Focus on the finish line, however, is secondary to finishing the race that Christ has set for me.