Just a great day!
It was a great day, for sure. In fact people had told me that it would be the greatest day of my life. As news of my marathon running plans emerged, many shared with me their own experiences. I was glad for all of these. Not only was it promising to be the greatest day of my life and my greatest achievement ever, but I was also assured that it was better than giving birth!
It did live up to the hype, but not quite. The crowds cheering you on through every step of the 26 miles was fantastic and is a lasting impression for anyone who runs, but I remember thinking as I ran through Canary Wharf that there is another crowd, another group cheering, that makes, daily, a deeper and more lasting impact. That’s the crowd of heaven. The Bible talks of a great crowd of people who have gone before us whose lives cheer us on each day as we run the ultimate race for the greatest prize:
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
1 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.
And as the next verse reminds us there is one who leads that crowd: Jesus.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, …
Unlike the marathon, he doesn’t need me to have my name printed on my shirt to call it out. He knows it. He uses it. Sure enough it was a great feeling when your legs were tired and your heart heavy to hear a bystander call out your name. But really that’s nothing compared to waking up every day and hearing the God of heaven himself shout it out:
John 10:3 (NIV)
3 … listen to his voice. He calls his own … by name and leads them out.