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Running with a Mission

Posted by Angela Sawtell , 26 August 2011 · 1101 views

Recently I've been introduced to a whole new world- the world of running. I've never liked running. In fact, for the greater portion of my life, I can say that I have been avidly opposed to it. Seriously, how could someone actually enjoy just pounding their feet on the pavement mile after mile? Don't they get bored? Not to mention those crazy ultra-marathoners. If there was ever a group of people who came from another planet, it's ultra-marathoners and ironmen.

Sometimes I would hear a sermon on "Running the Good Race," and never actually having run a race, I will readily admit that the comparison never really resonated with me. Sure, I had a clear enough understanding of the concept but my eyes were already glazed over by the time the Pastor reached the word "the."

Then, after much encouragement from a few of my running-loving friends, I decided to try my first 5K... on the treadmill. Sure, it wasn't a fancy race but it was absolutely amazing! I cannot believe what I've missed out on all these years! Now I can't stop thinking about running. I have watched every possible video on YouTube about developing correct form, which by the way, is much more complicated than it looks. I thought running defined was just putting one foot in front of the other at a much more rapid pace than when walking. HA! After googling the word "pronation," I am learning that running has its very own jargon and complexities. I have looked at websites, rented books, bought magazines, and invested in the right shoes. Don't forget the inspirational running movies, and if you were wondering, this means I have a continual loop of the "Chariots of Fire" theme song playing through my mind as I pace myself. Isn't it funny how something that I once abhorred has now become a passion?

"Abhor" and "passion." I use those potent words specifically. We live in a world that abhors Jesus Christ and His truth. There are many who are fiercely and even violently opposed to the Light of Jesus Christ. People do not love what they do not understand, and they do not understand what they do not know. They do not KNOW God. They do not understand the Light that is salvation. However, we also live in a world that is desperate to be passionate about Him, desperate to KNOW Him, even if they do not know it themselves. They are much like the side-liners, watching the race, and wondering if the runners know something that they don't, but never joining in to find out. Think a moment abou the implications of knowing that these "side-liners" will never know what it's like to reach the finish line.

As I write this, I am remembering a YouTube video of the finish line of the Ironman. Two ladies, whose bodies had reached their limits miles before, were crawling on hands and knees, side by side, in order make it across the line. A man, propped up by fellow runners, collapsed a matter of feet before the line, but reached out to touch it with his finger tips. The world doesn't understand why these determined and impassioned athletes would push their bodies to such extremes. The world says quit. However, they keep pressing on.

This is what running has taught me about the determination and passion of those who desire to see the Light of Jesus Christ shining in the darkness. They are fiercely praying that there will be those on "the side-lines" who say to themselves, "I want that. I desperately NEED that. I am going to join the race. I want to KNOW, understand, and LOVE Jesus Christ as Lord. I want to know what it means to cross the finish line." This is the desire of those that are running the race the Lord has set for them- that those who do not know what it means to cross the finish line will see the power and love of Jesus Christ and will join in on the race.




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