FINISHING THE RACE

When I was in my teens I would jog toward the end of my lane to a big red barn. There, I would turn and sprint at full speed the 2/10 of a mile back to the turn into my driveway.

It was glorious. I would imagine I was an Olympic sprinter heading for the finish line. The wind was roaring in my ears, my legs were churning, my arms were pumping, and imaginary fans were standing and chanting my name. Perhaps, even my favorite girl of the month was in the crowd, watching and admiring my amazing accomplishments. I was the “Marion Flash” taking the world by storm.

Today, I am 100 pounds heavier, my right knee has no cartilage, and I can’t even run to the refrigerator. No one is amazed, and sometimes, it seems few know I exist. Age is the great humbler, but I have gained wisdom and am happy in the knowledge my Savior is still watching my race.

Even though I’m a shell of my former self in many ways, Jesus has not turned away. Perhaps to Him, the final portion of the race is most important. Although my sprint has turned into a stumbling marathon, each step I take brings me closer to the finish line and my face to face meeting with Him; the One who gave his life for my redemption.

He is watching YOUR race as well and is just as eager to meet YOU at the finish line. Whether you are sprinting or walking painfully, join me in planning a celebration there.  Those daydreams of old earthly glory will be long forgotten.

“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . . .”—Hebrews 12-1&2a

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LOVING THE UNLOVABLE

For several years I was responsible for patrolling the outside lunch area at WiHi. One day I was watching a young man who seemed to delight in making my life miserable in one of my classes. Typically, he was being his usual unruly self. I hate to admit I was not having pleasant thoughts about him. Suddenly though, I remembered what Jesus would say: “I love him just as much as I love you.” I felt my eyes mist when I remembered that, indeed, Jesus loves each of us equally and without restraint.

My pastor once said, “You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to love them.” Interesting thought, huh! Each person we encounter may not be someone we want to spend a lot of time with, but they have unique value in God’s eyes. If we love God, we must seek to love ALL of his children, no matter how unlovable they may sometimes seem.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8