Maybe I slipped off my cracker, or the cheese did, however you say it. The point is I might really be crazy. I am 52, overweight, out of shape, and I signed up for Marathon Makeover. Now I’m telling all of you that I did it, so I have to go threw with it and finish. This morning I was looking at the Chicago Marathon website, seeing those muscle bound athletes and reading their incredible racing times; the thought occurred to me that maybe I should’ve signed up for Whitfield, our local psychiatric hospital. I’ve never been athletic. I was the dork everybody picked last because they had to. You know the geek with the glasses out in right field. So why a marathon?
Last year I went to Colombia South America on a mission trip. It was an incredible life changing experience. Over 600 people said yes to Jesus in about 18 hours worth of work. So many want to know Christ that we had to limit the time we shared, in order to be able to follow up and truly “make disciples” after we left. Never before had the reality of the ripe fields for harvest been so, “in my face”. The people are beautiful and so open to the good news of Jesus Christ. Wherever we went a crowd would gather as we used our evangecubes and told the sweet story of salvation. What impressed me was the sincerity of the people. When I asked them if they were sure they would go to heaven when they died, many said, “No, I’m going to hell”. Amazing, many Americans no longer even believe in heaven or hell. These people with little opportunity to know the truth are convinced of its existence. They know they are lost. Blessed are the feet of them that bring good news.
Which brings me back to the marathon, it’s very hot in Colombia. We sweated for the entire 10 days. I finally got dry when I came home. Drinking enough water is no problem at all because you are constantly thirsty. The hardest part of the trip for me was having physical stamina. My hearts desire and the body I live in were in conflict. It didn’t help that I immediately got a respiratory infection and asthma. I realized that I had entered into battle without preparing. Boot camp! Soldiers go to boot camp. But Lord, soldiers are usually young kids that can take boot camp. A long time ago I told the Lord I would be a fool for him, or anything else. I gave Him my life. The marathon represents endurance to me, it’s the boot camp I need to go on mission. I want to go back. I want to go other places to and share the good news that rescued me.
My verse for this year is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. This is almost as far fetched as Abraham becoming a father at 100 years of age. We do believe in the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that God can get granny to the finish line. What monumental challenge are you facing today? Focus on the one whose arm is not too short to save, and say a prayer for me. Whitfield sounds more realistic than 26.2 miles.