I've watched a few marathons - the concentration counting the pounding steps on the pavement, the physical agony that some find at the end of the race, the intermittent support and water that family, friends and organizers offer throughout the race. To finish, must be an incredible endorphin rush, an incredible feat, a humbling and empowering accomplishment.
I am sure in the midst of the race the finish line cannot be at the forefront of the athlete's mind. Rather, he/she probably focuses his/her breathing, the pace, the pack of runners he/she is supposed to lead or follow. I just bet there exists a list of items on which a runner has to focus before he/she can wish for the finish line. When the runner has a good mile, I imagine there's a mental moment of relief and celebration before the next mile asks the body and brain to produce again.
Today was a good mile, and along the way friends offered a cool reminders of love and support. So very thankful for that.
When Joey was the head football coach at Cushing high school he had me make him a poster than illustrated this quote:“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”
I thought of this and my post the other day when I read today' scripture, Daniel 3:16-28, where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the kings idols and instead chose to face the fiery furnace. I wanted to have the courage to chose the fire, to wake up running.
Thankful our God is faithful when we chose the fire and also when we are tired of running.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2