What I read today;

1 Corinthians 8-9; Matthew 24; Jeremiah 49-50; Psalm 114; Nehemiah 1-2; Numbers 4

Several years ago I ran a half marathon.  This race is 13.1 miles long. Training for this event was long and tedious.  3 to 4 days a week I would run 6 to 8 miles.  Saturday morning was set aside for “long” runs.  These runs would start before the sun came up and be 10 to 12 miles long.

This would entail hours running along paths with nothing but the music from my I-Pod and the thoughts in my head.

Anyone who has ever prepared for an endurance event knows that the training is tough. But you will fail if you attempt to run a race without the proper training.

In spite of the hours and weeks of training, I’d put in the race was so much harder than I’d ever dreamed it would be.  At mile 12 I ran into, what runners call, the wall.  I could barely move another step.  I had to walk about a quarter mile before I could command my legs to finish.

When I finally crossed the finish line the race volunteers put a medal over my head.  The emotion of that moment is so difficult to describe.  When you watch a marathon or IronMan event on TV, and you see the people crying as they cross the finish line, it’s hard to imagine that moment.  If you’ve completed a race on your own you know.  All the work, all the time everything for that single moment.  It can be overwhelming.

Paul describes our faith life in just this way.  A race that will have peaks and valleys.  Times when we will just want to give up and quit.  Instances of frustration that our progress is so slow.  Moments when we wonder why we started in the first place.

Why do we keep pressing ahead?  Because we know that in the end there is a prize waiting for us.  We will see Jesus face to face.  We barely understand what that will look like.  We can’t comprehend what is in store for each of us. I bet the joy and emotion we feel in that moment will be so overwhelming that words won’t even do it a small amount of justice!

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