June 24, 2008

Forrest … Forrest Gump

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:7

Have you run a marathon? I haven’t, but I love to run. Especially when I push past the first half hour and soar to the ‘runner’s high.’ Ahhh! Lungs on fire, the weight of the world falls off and I’m carefree! Often I choose markers to motivate endurance. “If I can make it to that lamp post I’ll be okay.” Reaching the lamp post, the traffic light is my next goal. And so forth until I’ve run an extra mile without knowing it.

God asked me over two years ago to lace my spiritual running shoes for a particular race. I often get the mental image of myself being like Forrest Gump running from one side of the States to the other. Just running and running and running. This course could be named “Promise Keeper” as it’s a journey of faith, acknowledging that God not only gives the promise, but also keeps it. At times I skip along full of confidence this promise will prevail and I’ll finish well. Other times I can hardly put one foot in front of the other, doubting this promise will be rescued. God has graciously placed lamp posts of help and traffic lights of hope along the way to give me strength to push on:

~ One of my dearest friends emailed: DON’T grow weary. It is in the last leg of the race we often grow weary when it is just minutes away from the finish line. YOU will finish well. KEEP your eyes on the PRIZE…your relationship with CHRIST. HOPE IN ALL THINGS.

~ At the end of a phone conversation last week about business, the caller randomly tossed out this encouragement: “Hey … hang in there. The finish line is near!!”

~ Yesterday a friend came by the office and shared with me how God has taught her to run her race. Her motto is “Be the Turtle.” Running with steady confidence, keeping her eyes on the goal, and pushing through with perseverance.

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

The word endurance also means: Perseverance. Patience. Never Quit. Steady. Active persistence.

Keep running friends. The goal is perfect, complete, total, utter joy! May there be peace for your journey, hope for every step you put in front of the other, and grace along the way. Listen for the cheers of the great crowd of those who have gone before you!! Run Forrest, run!

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