(Amanda, Me, Mary Ann)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 NIV
I did it. I met one of my life goals. I ran the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race. With 55,000 runners, the Peachtree holds the title of the world’s largest 10K. What an exciting day it was!
Gradual beeping woke me from what seemed a moment’s sleep. 4:00 a.m. Time to get up. As I stumbled to the shower, I berated myself for not taking one the night before and affording myself a few extra moments slumber. But it took those first warm sprays to aid in the opening of my eyes. Am I crazy? Can I really do this? What was I thinking? Will I even finish? This is it. My mind raced in anticipation.
In a blink, I was showered and dressed in my best sporting goods selections from the night before, except for the shoes. My old ones would have to carry me just a bit further. With a little bit of old and a little bit of new, I was ready. My girlfriends arrived in the darkness, both sleepy and giddy at the same time. The first to make an appearance was Mary Ann, one of my forever best friends whose friendship has lasted a lifetime. Then was Amanda, one of my closest newer friends who is the sweeter, skinnier version of me. A bit of the old and a bit of the new, we set off.
We packed onto the MARTA rail to zap us downtown. Soon we arrived and were herded with the other thousands down streets closed off to those without running shoes and chest numbers. The wait to begin was long. But eventually, we moved. Start and stop. Start and stop. Our group was at the end of the 55,000. We played stop and go for ¾ of a mile before we even reached the starting line.
And we were off. Sort of. Bodies packed and heads bobbing up and down as they jogged in place. Nowhere to go. Gradually, we moved and thinned until each could stretch their legs into a comfortable pace.
Each mile came slower than the next. Just keep moving. If you can’t run, walk. I kept myself going, stopping only momentarily to grab a cup of water. The praise music lifted my soul. I thanked God for allowing me to meet this goal.
As I neared the finish, the words to the song “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” stuck with me. “Here I raise my Ebenezer; here by Thy great help I’ve come.” The Ebenezer stone is referenced in 1 Samuel. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.” (1Samuel 7:12 NIV)
Over a year ago I shared a dream with the Lord; my dream of wanting to run this race. As I passed mile marker six, I looked at the sights and sounds around me and marveled. My eyes spilled with gratitude as I crossed over the FINISH. My hands rose holding my imaginary Ebenezer and my heart cried out, “Thus far has the Lord helped me.”
Oh, thank you Lord for acknowledging my dream and helping me to accomplish it. Thank you for giving me the strength to run the race set out for me. What a mighty God we serve!
p.s. I’m taking a vacation from blogging this week while my husband is home. We’ve got lots of summer fun planned with the kids. I’ll see you next week!