I know it is hard to believe, but for a short period I was a runner. No, I’m not talking about when I was a kid and we ran races in the playground, or running the base paths, or running down a football field. I did all that before my knee was destroyed. I’m talking about a time in my late thirty’s when my friend William and I at six in the morning would run three miles and sometimes further. I even ran in a few 10K’s, arguing if people were horses and handicapped by weight, I should win.
I tell this story because of the thousands of us who’d run in the morning and run in a 10K on the occasional weekend didn’t actually believe we could win the race. The purpose was to finish, perhaps go a little faster than the last 10K, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment and the feeling of simply running the race.
The churches of this world could learn from running. It’s not about obtaining perfection, or whether one technique or dogma will help you reach the finish line first. It’s about making progress in one’s spiritual life. It’s about growing and enjoying. Success, like in running, comes in the trying, the struggling, the running the race. The final goal not becoming perfect, but becoming friends with God and enjoying, not fearing, his presence. Even more than the goal of finishiing a marathon, something I never did, just running the race called life and seeking God’s friendship is worth dedicating our life to. You don’t even need a pair of shoes.