Today I was going to write a little witty fun blog about my adventures in the Palmetto 200/70 relay run that I participated in last weekend.
I even started a draft of the blog in the car ride home Sunday afternoon.
Monday afternoon as I was sitting under the tree in my parents back yard sharing with them a few of the highlights of the weekend, I received a text from my sister Cindy… had I heard about the Boston Marathon?
I had just spent the weekend with a group of friends running a relay race. We ran, we talked about running, we ate to be able to run, it was all about running… or is it? Liz, the other girl on my team was talking about her journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon. My sister, a new runner has been clicking off miles to complete a series of half marathons. Like I said it had been a “running kind of weekend.
I clicked on the net to see the news about the explosions. My emotions were all over the place as I thought of the finish line I had just crossed. I started thinking of the chaos as the tragedy took place in Boston. A nurse by profession, a runner by choice, my heart went out to these people. I had served with other medical people at various marathons and races were usually you just treat cases of dehydration, muscle cramps typical runners issues, they were dealing with more, but I know they were ready.
It’s not just the race. It’s the journey these people took to get to that finish line. Many didn’t get to finish, but in not finishing their very life may have been saved.
No one knows who or what led this tragedy. Like many tragedies does it matter, will we ever know, and could we ever understand what motivates a mind to this? Pure evil, we live in a broken world. We are all running a race to a finish line, for some we are training everyday and preparing as best we can with what we have been given. Where will you finish? Heaven or Hell? 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable”
I mentioned my sister Cindy being a new runner. Another text she sent yesterday was a picture of a t-shirt she had ordered us. (http://www.running4him.com/techshirt.html) A t-shirt from another runner, Tiffany, check her out on facebook Running4Him. This woman runs for the Lord. She has basically chosen running as her mission field. I think yesterday is an example of how huge that mission field is. The Boston Marathon is run that you must qualify for. The elite are chosen, but the numbers are still high. Tiffany is training for this marathon, she has a large mission field and she is growing others to enter that mission field with her.
Back to the fact that it’s really not about the race. Sunday evening 3 of us from our team of 5 that had completed the relay in South Carolina spent the night at Cindy’s. When she mentioned going for a run in the morning we all agreed that it would be great, this despite the miles traveled in the car, the race we had run, and the short hours of sleep! Yes another few miles to the weekend at 6a.m. in the morning. We weren’t racing, we were training, but it was more.
It was being with friends again. It was running with my sister and knowing that no matter what storms, challenges, tragedies come into our lives we will run together, pushing each other on. That morning Cindy shared with Liz that running was her prayer closet, that it had saved her.
My sister who had vowed never to run unless someone was chasing her had started running over a year ago. Guess what, someone was chasing her… Satan, and his posse (my thoughts not hers). Just like the bombs that went off yesterday at the marathon, there was a rocking in her world. How would she handle it?
In running she found strength, in running she found God, in running she found hope. She ran, she trained, she grew.
The race is the prize ultimately, it’s the crossing the line, not the medal they hang around your neck at the end.
Some people didn’t cross that line yesterday, but they had prepared, they thought they were ready! But it was taken from them with a blast and chaos.
I often consider running my prayer closet too. My time to clear my head. My time to hang out with my trainer, my friend, my prize, my LORD!
Somehow I think that yesterday will change my thoughts on running even more. I need a little more time to process it all.
I am going for a run.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” …. “the prize” Hebrews 12:1-2