First, I want to say this is risky to write for anyone other than myself. Because sometime in the future I may not be able to move beyond where I am. Some could then try to use it to tarnish my witness, but I can’t let that stop me. This is the risk I’m choosing to take.
Today I heard something that made me think, it was about dumb, dumb moments. The times when you make an unwise choice that you have to admit that you made a dumb choice. As I listened to the text be read like I had before even reading it myself countless time before. This time it struck a chord and God made me pull over and park on the scripture so He could braid my life, His grace and Peter’s story all together.
I have heard people say that God gives them “words” for people. Honestly I am sometimes skeptical about that, but I do know when God gives a “word” to me for me, I better listen. Today that “word” is RUN. He actually gave it to me yesterday but I didn’t hear Him. Honestly I wasn’t looking for it or listening for him to give me a “word” I was just not in step with Him all the way. So because I was not paying attention yesterday He tried again. God has a way of not giving up easily on us.
Like I said it started yesterday. I decided to run my first 5K in over 25 years. I started training a little over a month ago when Chrissy (my awesome wife) decided to join this thing that I didn’t have any interest in called “Run for God” I wanted to encourage her in this and so I thought that it may be a great way to spend time together and we could do this together. I just wasn’t going to do the classes, I would read and all but I was in this to encourage her. In high school I ran on the cross-country team and I was one of the slowest but I never quit. As I read and started to run on the running days I got this spark of competiveness and birthed a dumb idea of running a 5K in 5 weeks it was a great cause I knew the promoters and had been on missions with them WCN. So I made a pact with myself to run this 5K then some one let the secret out. Big mouth me. So yesterday was the 5K.
I was nervous and worried why? I don’t know I just was. I wasn’t racing anyone but me. Now that’s some stiff competition actually I was racing against someone or something my past high school self. I did have my best buddy Scott who is fast on a slow day. I figured once he passed me on his way by lapping me he would be able to pick me up off the ground and get me going again.
Well the race started and we were off! I looked for Scott and as I though he was gone. It was just me and Toby Mac blaring from my headphones. Then every so often I would get updates on my pace and mileage. There was twist turns up hill down hill kids passing me. That felt great. I but I was determined and I pressed on. Walking hard to start then to a jog then (look mom) I’m running. (Short lived) about the 1 mile or so. I was feeling okay on pace and making headway. Soon I hit the half-way point and I had to walk but that’s when it happened someone stole my running shoes and put swim flipper on my feet and I didn’t even know it. Talk about alien abduction. It was incredibly hard to walk at pace. So I caught my breath and whispered a quick prayer for strength and started to jog. It was amazingly better the flippers were gone!
This happened a few more times. I would slow down and walk only to start to run because it felt better. I rounded the corner and I saw the finish line. I never thought seeing the finish line would remind me of finishing the race of life but it did. I pulled my one ear bud out so I could hear and I ran as fast as my short legs would go. I remember looking for my family. I was so excited to cross the finish line. I ran like I was a marathon runner. Arms up in the air chest out. Not really. I was out of breath and shaking. It was over I was greeted with hugs from my wife and kids then I was handed a little bracelet that simply said RUN. I looked around and saw nothing but smiles what a great feeling.
As I sat in church today listing to the story of Peter denying Christ 3 times and how he was at first so confident that he would not deny Jesus, but Jesus knew he would. And Satan was going to sift him to show his faith was not strong enough to build on the church on. I think Satan thought he had defeated Peter. But after the resurrection Peter face Jesus again humbly professing his love for the Lord 3 times. Peter understood in that moment that it was not by his strength that Jesus would build His church but it was going to be built only by the power of Christ Jesus.
My mind went to the 5K. I though of how the race seemed so long and at times I thought I would run the race like I was still a freshmen in high school. I was so wrong. I found myself sucking air and breathing hard, legs hurting, and lead weights for feet. My head started to hang to the ground. Then the voice started, you know the one that says you can’t do this. You should just give up and walk the path of shame.
It’s like Satan sifting Peter. In that moment we have a choice to hand over our dumb dumb to Jesus or keep it to our selves and try and make it through. In keeping the dumb dumb, we deny Christ and all his power and authority. This is a bigger dumb dumb thing to do, instead we need to profess knowing Jesus and ask for His strength when we have none. He will hear your prayer and answer it. When He is our all in all and our only strength when we are weak we will be successful in His eyes. So as the doubts came, I did walk and the pain got worse but when I asked for strength and started to run it seem to go away. I did finished strong and yes it was hard but it was easier when I was running to Jesus.
The word RUN on the bracelet was perfect for that day. I need to continue to run to Jesus not walk. So I will continue my training and who knows perhaps you may see Chrissy and I at another 5K stronger and faster but always running to Jesus.