Sometimes in life things don’t go the way we want. Circumstances we never planned for pop up and throw our lives into chaos. It’s like a tornado comes and destroys our very being. What do we do? How can we survive this devastation?
Saturday I was running The Grand Lake Marathon in my hometown of Celina, Ohio. It is a beautiful course that circles Grand Lake St. Mary’s. The day started of with just an amazing sunrise over the lake and the excitement of 1800 runners from 30 states to run this inaugural event.
Through 13.1 miles I was feeling great and on pace to set a new PR for the marathon. Then somewhere after the 15 mile mark the wheels fell off. I started to cramp and overheat. I could feel my core temperature rising. At mile sixteen I knew I was in trouble. I could barely run and I had cramps in places I never knew existed. Normally when I run I pour water over my head and down my back to stay cool. That usually lasts about a half-mile to a mile. That was not the case this day. In a minute my hair and shirt were dry.
As I moved like a turtle through peanut butter I tried to encourage others as they left me in the dust. I was very thankful for my wife and best friend cheering me on at each intersection, they helped me focus on moving forward. I prayed and recited scripture to help me take the next step and focus on what was ahead…the finish line.
Sometimes we get so distracted by the chaos that we forget what has gotten us through all the other rough stretches on our journey. We also lose sight of where we are headed. Philippians 3:13-14 states “…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The prize was not the finishing medal, it was to glorify God in the race. That kept me inching towards the 26.2 mile mark.
The last four miles my best friend walked with me. That and the many prayers of my TEAM 413 teammates got me to the finish line. Now several days since the marathon I discovered that even though I was not doing well, my words of encouragement kept others going and got them to the finish line. Despite my worst race, others were encouraged and persevered. No matter how bad things are, keep moving forward, focus on the One who has already overcome so you can.
ONE MORE BREATH, ONE MORE STEP, ONE MORE MILE, FINISH LINE!
I CAN ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME. PHILIPPIANS 4:13