I could not believe I crossed the finish line. Maybe that was why I was crying. Yeah. I was crying. That was not the first time that day either. It was the last though, at least for that day. I first cried after mile marker 20 or something like that. My legs were not the most comfortable they had ever been. I am not sure if I did not train enough (cause I thought I had done pretty well) or if my knees are just not marathon knees. Around mile 23 I called my wife who greatly encouraged me, and then I asked to talk to my four year old Evelyn. She said “you can do it daddy, you can do it.” Then I felt the estrogen kick in again and started crying. Now these were not big cries, I think the water in my body was being used elsewhere, but I felt pretty emotional. I asked them for prayer and went on (slowly).
Marathons are just too much about life to not point out some comparisons. There are too many times in life that quitting is an option. Quitting your marriage, your faith, school or vocation may seem like the best option. But it is not. Obstacles are momentary (though those moments seem more like eternity). In the last two days I have talked to a man whose wife had breast cancer, a guy who just went through drug and alcohol rehab and a married man who got a girl pregnant. Each of those situations could result in quitting; easily. Life is not for the faint of heart.
We must live for so much more than comfort during difficult times. God allows difficulties in our life to mold us into the image of Christ; if we deny that molding process, we deny God’s hand in our lives.
Saturday I was all set up with my flights to be at my brother’s in the morning and be able to have a nice relaxing day, but fog in Charlotte meant I had to reschedule and wait some. Through that I met a couple people that I know God meant for me to meet. During the marathon it was my plan to run with the Ethiopians up front, but God had me slow down and meet Dave, Dan, Gary, and Peter. God is providentially working in our lives and we can either reject that and get frustrated or accept it and marvel at His goodness.
At the end of the race I received a medal. But you know, the medal is just a symbol of the completion of the race. I did not run the marathon so I could be honored with a medal. One day we will go before the Bema seat for an account of our life and we will receive a prize. But life is not about the prize; it is about giving God glory; it is about honoring Him. We walk and run, laugh and weep, live and die for His glory. What does God want you to do for His glory and how are you doing? Don’t quit. “Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God that is in Christ Jesus!”