Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Running the race

Even though Lisa was Miss Clean, the bracelet had to stay. It wasn’t time yet to cut it loose.

The memories still brought tears to her eyes. “It was like heaven,” she said. “The path went up a little hill to the finish line. There were big pillars there.”

The people were cheering and somebody had a foghorn. “You can do this! Keep going! You’re almost there!”

Lisa had finished a two-day fundraising walk, covering a 26-mile course one day and another 13 the next. She collapsed across the finish line in tears of joy for completing a strenuous spring of training before the big event.

“I didn’t think I could do it, really,” Lisa admitted. “All the cheering reminded me of angels. Lots of people waving their hands and cheering as we came across the finish line.”

She held up her wrist with the plastic entry bracelet. “I’m not ready to forget yet.”

Taking a long drink of water, she reflected. “The blisters are about healed up. Did I tell you that I got a heat rash? It’s about gone, too.” She paused for a moment. “What did I learn from this? I think we’re able to do much more than we think we can and we’re better for it. I wasn’t sure I could do this but I still tear up thinking about it.”

Paul talked a lot about races, too. At the end of his life, thinking, he wrote:

“I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”[1]

For Lisa, the prize was crossing the finish line to the cheers of hundreds. Paul found that prize and even more:

“And now the prize awaits me: the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return.”[2]

A race is hard work, but the finish line makes it worthwhile. Keep running.

[1] 2 Tim 4:7-8

[2] 2 Tim 4:8

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