Marathon: Ups and Downs

I was watching a video of someone’s journey running the marathon and I really got emotional. Seeing the struggle of training and all the accompanying feelings that came with, knowing what it feels like to do something that you have set out for yourself, it made me really think about my own journey. To see her journey end in success and how emotional she got over her race made me think about how I might feel crossing that finish line. No matter what happens I know in my heart I will be emotional when I cross the finish line.

This is something I thought impossible for me when I was over 200 pounds. The pain it put me through to run just one mile, I could have never thought myself running 26. I pray I don’t get injured before or even during the race but if its Gods will that I finish the race strong.

The whole idea of running a race reminds me about something in scripture. Paul, in a letter written to the corinthians, mentions running in order to relate to something the corinthians knew. Running was a popular sport where they were from and so he related the discipline of a runner to that of christian. He says. ” Do you not know that in a race all the 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. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. but I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to other I myself should be disqualified.

He uses language such as disqualification, prize, self control, discipline; in order to convey the message that the practice of self control and discipline all amount to success in the sport. To win. I know I’m not going to be winning any race that weekend not when its my first time and when I have so much room for improvement but that’s not the main goal. The main thing that comes across from the scripture is not about winning but running well and in order to run well, one must be disciplined to train, to do what is necessary to run a good race.

All runners know intimately the price, mentally, physically and sometimes even socially, of running. The ultimate reward of any runner is making it to the end. Finishing the race. Knowing you put all that time and effort. Giving it your all to make it the best run you could ever have. Crossing the line and saying it is done.

The same can be said for the believer. It is knowing that you have run the good race and meeting Jesus at the end and hearing him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I think that’s what I was meant to learn through this experience.

I know that at the end of the race I’m going to be emotional about it, lord willing I finish. there’s no way that I won’t be emotional about it. Whether I’ll cry is a whole different matter. It might not hit me at the finish line, it might hit me later. Whatever happens, I thank God he has kept me this whole time. But as emotional as I will be running in that marathon, I know that is only a small fraction of what it will be like when I see Jesus face to face.

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