Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guest Post: Dr. Gene Wilkes

Running: A Metaphor for Life

This weekend I will run my tenth marathon since 2000. The Grasslands Trail Run will be my first trail marathon but not my first trail run. Trail running is my preferred environment and community for running. Running on dirt in forests, fields, and mountains is how running has always been done. I have run as many 25M and 50K trail runs as I have marathons during this same time period, and I have finished a 50M run, DNF'd one other, and attempted one 100-miler, which ended me at mile 73.

Why the partial running resume? I like to run. I haven't been to a psychologist yet to dig into why my obsession is so deep or why I started running ultras until I was 45. But, more important than why I like to run, running--distance running--has become a metaphor for life for me.

I reminded my listeners this past Sunday as Legacy Church that long-distance running is a metaphor for life because somewhere in a long run you come to the point you want to give up.

It's usually mile 18 to 20 in a marathon. Under normal conditions, you ask yourself, "Why am I out here? What's the point of this pain? No one is chasing me. I'm not getting paid to do this. I want to go home." That's when your training and mental strength come into play. If you are not injured or have not mismanaged your fuel or hydration, finishing is up to you; your faith, your values, who you really are. At the crisis point of pain, you can quit and go home or push through the pain and finish what you set out to finish.

Life is a series of long runs. Marriage, parenting, and calling are all life-long runs that somewhere along the way you want to give up. And many do. Injury or mismanagement of supplies and support can sideline you, which adds another dimension to the run, but finishing the race is the goal of living.

My favorite passage of Scripture that describes this metaphor is Hebrews 12:1-3. Here it is:
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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (italics and bold, mine)
The writer of this letter had to be a runner; or, at minimum, knew one. He knew the importance of those who encourage you (a cloud of witnesses). He knew lighter is better. (throw off everything) He knew running with perseverance (endurance) was the key to finishing the race (marked out for you). He knew keeping your eyes on another runner in front of you was important to finishing the run. He knew trusting a runner who had completed a more difficult race (Jesus) would inspire you not to quit (lose heart).

The key to running the race of life and the way you will never grow weary or lose heart is to keep your eyes on Jesus during the run. No ultramarathon, even Hard Rock in CO, matches what Jesus did for you on the cross. His endurance run of suffering, shame, and opposition is an example matched by no one; and, he endured it all so we can finish the race of life, be victorious, and rest in eternity with our hero, rescuer, and leader.

I love running, and endurance running is my metaphor for life--and I put my trust in the one who has completed the most difficult and most significant race of all, Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of my trust.

What's your metaphor for life?

I'm a member of North Texas Trail Runners. Check them out on the web and on facebook. Or, come out to the run this weekend and meet some of the runners and volunteers.

Posted by faithrunner at 7:17 AM 2 comments
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Labels: Grasslands Trail Run, Hebrews 12, Legacy Church, marathon, North Texas Trail Runners, trail running, ultrarunning

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ponder This...

I was driving to work this morning, listening to the radio like I always do when a verse in a song got my mind to reeling. The verse talked about how God loves us so much that He gave His only son to die for our sins. ONLY son!! Think about it, before we existed, you, me, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers, sister, etc. God gave up His ONLY son for us! He loves us that much, even before we or our great, great, great grandparents came to be. I have a 4 yr old son that I love more than anything and would do anything for. So, when I think about how much more God loves him than I it is really hard to comprehend. It's ok, because we are not supposed to comprehend or understand God's ways. It is too much for our human brains to take. So, pondering the fact that God loves all of us more than our parents and families could ever do, blows my mind! Plus the fact that He loved us before we even existed is CARAZY!!! So, just a little something to think about this week. God LOVES YOU no matter what!!!!!

John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son..."

Love In Christ,


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unexpected Surprises

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9b).

My 4 yr old got a beta fish over the weekend. He loves to watch "Finding Nemo" and gets excited when he gets to watch the fish at Petsmart. We decided we wanted to surprise him, so my husband went out and got everything we needed and we hid the fish in our room. The next morning when my son woke up and saw the little aquarium he squealed with delight, "It's a fish!!". It was so awesome to see the smile on his face. He was totally surprised! I love surprises, but I am so impatient that it drives me crazy to have to wait. The end result is always great, but the waiting to get there is the part that seems torturous. Whether or not you like surprises, life is full of them, and sometimes it's best to sit back and if possible enjoy them.

Sue Buchanan says, "Sometimes you work toward some goal for months on end, and everything goes wrong. But what God has in store is far beyond what we could think or dream. His surprises are the best of all!"

We might seem like the path that God wants us to go down is long, torturous and impossible, but if we stick with Him and obey our "surprise" at the end of the road or task will be far beyond our wildest dreams!!

Love in Christ,


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