This is my brother-in-law Alvin
Here he is up close... sorry it's blurry.
but that is not the reason for this post.
Alvin called on Monday. There was a lot of excitement in the background. There was a lot of excitement in his voice.
"Hey, what's up?"
"I just ran the L.A. marathon!"
"Woah! Are you serious? Did you train for it?"
"Nope... just got up this morning and decided to run it."
Wow, can you imagine? Getting up one morning and deciding to run a marathon? Maybe that's not so hard to imagine for the runners out there, but to me that's a pretty amazing feat! I walked a 10k (6+ miles) last year and that was about all I could take.
I had a lot of thoughts about my short little conversation with Alvin, so I thought I'd convey 3 of them.
Thought 1: Discipline=Freedom
People don't really get up and run marathons on a whim. They have the freedom to do so because they have been disciplined enough to get their bodies in good physical shape. I could use more discipline in my life for sure. Then I'd be freer to do a lot of things... like fit into my white, cotton pants or quote a portion of scripture to encourage someone or find my missing library book. Discipline is a good thing.
Thought 2: Ultimate Responsiblity=Myself
As much as you want to stand by a person and to encourage them, as much as you would like everyone around you to finish the race with you, you can only be accountable for how you run it. Sometimes I forget that I can't make other people persevere. I can come alongside them and encourage them, but ultimately I can only make my own choice to persevere. Spiritually speaking, sometimes it's taken years to meet up with a friend again along the course, but the reunion is so sweet, and it's great knowing we can run the race side by side once again!!
Thought 3: Eyes on the Goal=Strong Finish
Alvin said the last two miles were the worst by far. Hunger and fatigue set in and it's hard to be motivated to keep going. That's when it's most important to keep pressing on and keep your eyes fixed on the goal. I'm in those last couple miles with homeschooling this year. In my flesh, I want to quit or at least stop running full speed ahead... I have a serious case of senioritis. But I don't want to be half-hearted about it... I want to finish strong. So I'll keep pressing toward the goal. Ultimately, I'll keep pressing on toward Jesus.