The London Marathon
For a lot of people running the London marathon is on their bucket list. It is certainly on mine and I hope one day tocross the finishing line exhausted, but elated! There is something about the sight of all those runners which moves me to tears. So many stories of courage. So many people wanting to raise money, wanting to make a difference. Wanting to show themselves they can do it. They can run 26 miles.
Of course it's not just about the day. There is the training. The going out day after day in wind and rain when you ache and would rather have an extra hour in bed. The dark days when you can't run through injury and the darkest days of all when you lose the belief that you can finish the race and berate yourself for ever believing that you could.
Those thoughts don't just apply to marathon running. We can excitedly start a piece of work for God and there is a great surge of energy and the tiredness kicks in. Things don't go the way we thought and the desire to give up and to convince ourselves that we have failed that God hasn't called us at all really kick in and unravel us. Perseverance, endurance, faith, belief trust are beyond us.
It's then we need to find cheerleaders- encouragers, those who like the crowds lining the streets of London spot the runners who are really struggling and call to them and wave to them and even run along side them for a while. To re- energise them. To inspire them to Keep Going.
There can only be one winner of any race. But the Marathon isn't about winning. It is is about courage. It is about taking part. It is about everything that is good about the human spirit. It is about togetherness. It is tough. Very tough. But when the going gets tough..........
Is there something on your Bucket List you can begin to make happen? Is there someone you know who needs you to run alongside them for a while
The good thing about running the London Marathon is that you know exactly how many miles it is. So you can pace yourself and train accordingly. We don't know how many miles there are in our life's marathon. Should we work like mad in our younger days and then rest when grey hairs start to appear. Should we give everything we have now or hold something back in reserve. How fast should we run? One thing we are called to do is to run our race 'with perseverance. Chapter 12 of the letter to the Hebrews is a great encouragement. It is challenging, reassuring and brings us back to Christ, whose life race was short but a marathon none the less . A marathon with hurdles! This passage is one of my favourites verses 1-5 especially. It is easy to miss the first verse-' lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely' and yet without doing that we are too burdened to run. It is like trying to run in trainers with stones in. it is like running backwards.
Read this passage slowly and reflect on it and make it your prayer today.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross. . Disregarding its shame and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.'
And may God bless our every step, as we sprint, as we jog and as we rest. And may perseverance, endurance and love be gifts we are blessed with and gifts we share in Jesus name