Hope you’re having an awesome, praise-filled day! How could you not?! Has there ever been a spring like this one!? Dogwoods, redbuds, tulips, azaleas, weeping cherries, tulip trees…all together!
“Praise the LORD from the earth…you mountains and all hills, fruit trees…” (Psalm 148)
Praise is bustin’ out all over! Shhh…listen….hear it?
Speaking of praise, I was praising God when I got to the end of that Knoxville marathon I ran in the other week! For a while I thought I was going to see Him face to face and not just praise Him! We ended up in Neyland Stadium on the 50 yard line, up on the jumbotron…45 feet tall and lookin’ worse than ever!
There were times before the gun went off that I wondered, “Why’d I sigh up for this?” During the race, I’d ask myself, “Why’m I doing this?” At the end, I went home with this question, “Why’d I do that!?”
Kinda like Columbus. They say he left, not knowing where he was going. He arrived not knowing where he was. He returned home, not knowing where he’d been.
After the first confusing few miles running in the dark, drowsiness, and drizzle, I heard a friendly voice…Bill Boucher! It was soooo awesome to have someone to run with! We talked, laughed, and kept each other encouraged! Only problem-Bill was just running the half marathon. At 13.1, he was checkin’ out. In fact, at about 10 miles, the finish line was calling, and he headed for the home stretch.
At 14 miles…running alone…alone…getting tired…
”Do my feet hurt? You guys OK down there?...Yikes! Is that a blister? What if I get a blister?...Oops! ‘Scuse me, dude!”
Near Broadway and Central, I had kind of bumped into someone I didn’t notice behind me. Jeff Matlock from Nashville. A real-estate agent and member of Belmont Baptist Church. Married with three growing kids…two are twins. Runs fifteen marathons a year with his wife. Used to be an assistant with Pat Summit.
How do I know all this?
We ran the whole rest of the way together! I thought I’d bumped him. We got talking and I asked him how fast we were going …He had one of those new GPS watched that looks like a small TV and tells you where you are, how fast you’re going, how far you’ve been, how hard your heart is beating…it tells you everything except why you shouldn’t quit!
I asked him how fast he was hoping to run this thing. His answer was about what I hoped to do.
“Do you mind if I just run with you? It’ll sure make it easier to have some company!” I asked.
“Sure!” he said.
“Tell me if I’m talking your head off,” I told him
“Doesn’t bother me!” he assured me.
We talked, shared, laughed the rest of the way! Couple o’ times I had to tie my shoes, but I caught up with him again. I’m not sure how that race would have come out without someone to run it with! It just made it go by faster.
It just made it….easier!
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Heb 12.1)
We all have a race to run. It may be a while before the finish. There may be some hills. We may have to run in the rain. We might even have dogs chasing us. We may be fast. We may be slow. We just can’t quit.
One of the things that makes this looooong run easier, is having someone running with you. Someone to share with. Someone to run beside you. Someone to keep you encouraged. Someone who may need you to encourage them sometimes. Someone who is determined to make it to the end.
Someone like you.
It just makes it…easier.
Community groups…every Sunday at 9:30…
Run to one!