Running with the Church
January 19th, 2014
(While the Deacon’s preach this Sunday here’s a short account of my BCS Marathon)
Last October I had a brilliant idea. I thought I’d run the Marine Marathon injured. Physically it didn’t turn out so well. I came back limping, in pain, but with the pride that only finishers know – I did it!! You can read more about that particular marathon here.
However, as that post tells, I also came back with a new understanding of intercessory prayer. As I used prayer to push through the pain, I noticed that it not only made the Marine Marathon physically possible but it was actively changing who I was at the core. I don’t pretend to know what happened or even begin to dialogue with eloquence on the inner transformation of the heart, I leave that to poets, but this I do know – the way I prayed would never be the same. I can no longer pray without praying for others.
Then, on the flight home, inspiration hit. Make the next marathon about others!!
Happily I didn’t have much time to sit on that idea and thus forget, chicken or flake out. I was scheduled to run the local Bryan/College Station Marathon in little over a month. Not wanting to lose steam, I hopped on my public Facebook page and made the idea public. That’s where this story really takes off. I wish I could tell you how humbling it is to get nearly a hundred emails in less then a day, all with deep personal stories, all asking for prayers. Many of the emails were filled with emotional testimonies that would make the hardest and grizzliest of men tear up. I was honored to be trusted with so many concerns and deep prayers. It was a special privilege to read each and then assign them a specific mile.
This was my plan: Each of the 26.2 miles received several petitions. To help with my memory I completely filled up a postcard with each name, accompanied with a note about that petition’s story/need to help me remember. I then laminated the card to protect it throughout the run.
It was a nice idea.
I never expected that I’d carry more than that postcard. Each and every mile I was not only carrying the stories, I was carrying the petition and person. Some miles were harder, some were easier but with each and every step I was surrounded by a chorus of voices. It quickly became not just a marathon but a marathon of stories filled with joys, sorrows, pains, concerns, and desires.
I was running with the Church.
I loved every bit of it! Its the best way to run a marathon!
An added bonus? I shaved nearly 23 min off my Marine Marathon for a personal best complete with a negative split! 4:01:40!!! At the half marathon mark my pace was 9:03 per mile but by the 22 mile mark I was running a 7:57 min per mile pace. If I hadn’t hit a wall on the 26th mile I’m sure I would have finished under 4 hours. Oh well, there’s always next year!
(I’d also like to thank all of the young adults from Framework who came out to cheer me on! Ya’ll are fantastic!)
Below is a picture of me actually holding the postcard in my left hand.