Let us run with perseverance…

Categories:Spiritual Growth

A while back some friends and I were discussing the upcoming Cooper River Bridge Run (which was April 5). The race is 6.2 miles long and includes two miles on the bridge, the first of which is a pretty good incline. A friend who does not run jokingly said, “I bet running six miles on the Rail Trail is a lot different than running it in the race on the bridge.” He was dead on but not in the way he suspected. He assumed that the flat shaded course in town would be easier than the race course, and that line of thought seems quite logical; however, that is not the case. I would run that race any day over running the Rail Trail, and here’s why…

1) I am participating in an event with about 40, 000 other people.
2) There are hundreds of people lining the course to cheer me on.
3) Each mile is marked so I can track my progress.
4) The view from the bridge is amazing!
5) Adrenaline, baby, adrenaline!
6) There are volunteers handing out water throughout the course (and there are Port-a-potties should one need such facilities).

So, I’m not promoting the race here (though you can register for next year at www.bridgerun.com once registration opens again). I think there is some application here for our lives.

1) Life is easier and more enjoyable, even if the circumstances are harder, if people are cheering for us to persevere, to give it all we’ve got, to finish well.
2) I didn’t even have to know the people who were cheering during the race to feel encouraged by them. Application: We can be meaningful encouragers to people we don’t know. A sincere compliment to a girl at the gym I have noticed working hard to lose weight. A nice note on a receipt to a waitress. A card in the mail to a new neighbor. An encouraging comment on the blog of someone I don’t know.
3) I think monitoring our progress spiritually is a pretty healthy thing to do. Sitting down at the table of fellowship with the Lord and having an evaluation conference, “Father, we’re at mile three and I feel like we’ve overcome these obstacles, but these are the things I feel like you want to focus on for the next mile or so…”
4) Running the Rail Trail is boring to me because I do it a couple of times a week. It’s comfortable. It’s routine. It’s mundane. There is no adrenaline involved. I think there is totally something spiritually energizing about jumping out of my boat of comfort to do something new and exhilarating and uncomfortable to please my Father.

So I dare you. I double dog dare you to leave this site and send one person an encouraging email (get more creative if you please), to intentionally encourage one person this week you do not know, to sit down and have a straight up evaluation powwow with the Lord, and to do something for Him that is totally out of your boat of comfort. I think He’ll be tickled…

The author of Hebrews compares our life to a race (12:1), and he understood the role of the Hampton Inn bellman I affectionately searched for this year during the race. Last year, as I was running the last half mile I passed the Hampton Inn on King Street and this jolly bellman stood on the sidewalk under the HI awning smiling widely, giving high fives. I made my way to his side of the street, straightened myself up, and gave him a hearty one. That was memorable to me. He spurred me on, and I looked for him again this year. He was there and I got my second annual high five. So as Hebrews commands and the Hampton Inn bellman illustrates, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (10:24).

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  1. erika
    May 6, 2008 at 3:10 am

    So good, I love this! You really always amaze me:) Thanks friend!

  2. Anita
    May 6, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Luvin’ it! Sure will,honey! Johnny always calls me on it when I’m not encouraging by calling me Barnabus.
    High Five!

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