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Monday, January 31, 2011

Celebration of Life

Yesterday was the Houston marathon and 1/2 marathon. This was one of my post-baby, get-back- into-shape fitness goals. Actually, the goal was originally the San Antonio 1/2 marathon in November but that just snuck up way too soon and I wasn't ready. So, the revised goal was the Houston 1/2 Marathon. I consider my goal met because we did 13.1 miles in one of our training runs. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in the official race because my snuggle bunches of oats (That is, John.) was sick and my plans to send him to our church's nursery fell through. (He's doing better now!)

But, I am super proud of Peter who ran it much faster than he would have had I been with him! He got to run it with his brother Jacob, Jacob's wife Daniele, and his sister Julie who all came in town for the race. Way to go to all of them! Jacob, Daniele and Julie are 1/2 marathon aficionados now. They run one like every other month. Here's my tribute to two of them from their first 1/2 marathon. (Sorry for not writing a new tribute for you! Hope you'll excuse my laziness!)

Anyways, I've written before about my experience in running and how I have found it transformational in some ways that I couldn't really understand. Upon more reflection my thoughts have become slightly more cohesive.

I find it to be a unique celebration of life. I was struck both times I ran long races by how many people had overcome significant obstacles to get there (I use the term "ran" loosely as a three toed sloth could probably "run" faster than I did...) . Some were cancer survivors, some were running in memory of someone they'd lost, some were well-advanced in age. On man was running his 30th marathon, some were running their first in their 40's, 50's or 60's. It was quite a diverse group and everyone had their reasons for being there.

My story wasn't nearly as exciting as a lot of the other runners. I was young and healthy and needed a goal to motivate my exercise. But being so physically challenged, and seeing others overcoming diverse difficulties made me so thankful for life and health- thankful to God, the author of life and giver of health. It was, for me, an expression of the glory of this earthly life and body (1 Corin 15:40). Both temporal things as this life will end and this body will decay. But still both incredible gifts.

And both are a shadow of what is to come for those who hope in Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:50-58

"0 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."

1 comment:

Kevin and Becky said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Leslie. During all my long distance training, there were so many parallels between life & running. Paul doesn't call us to run the race for nothing, and I can think of few things that bring his point home more than completing an actual 13.1/26.2 challenge. I'm sorry you didn't get to run it this time around, but there will be more in the future for you I hope.