Are you running the race? Here's our latest blog post from Debbie, our Children & Families Minister, and how the London Marathon can inspire us in our faith.
Have you ever completed a marathon or had to prepare for an event where you had to build up your endurance, resilience, and strength? It’s not just physical, its psychological too.
A couple of weeks ago I listened to participants of the London Marathon. Each person had a story to share including the reason why they wanted to take part in the race.
Some were fundraising for their favourite charity, some due to bereavement and others because they wanted to beat their personal best running time, or like Mo Farrah, running his last marathon after a successful running career. Some participants have an illness or disability and are so determined to help others that they put their bodies through rigorous training and build emotional fortitude, to enable them to complete their goal. The loss of a loved one inspiring them to do something, to challenge themselves, physical pain outweighing the inward feeling of grief.
Participants come in all shapes and sizes and whether on two legs, wheels or with assistance dogs or carers, all have the same thing in mind, getting to the finish line! It’s amazing how something so painful is so joyous!
At the end of the marathon the faces of the participants demonstrate all their hard work has paid off, part relief, part elation. There were so many inspiring stories that took all those people to London to complete in the marathon, it was simply awesome.
I have to say I have never run a marathon! Walks are more my thing! I have, however, completed a parachute jump, many years ago, and had to undertake training, by an army officer who was a true sergeant major in every way.
I sat on the edge of the plane, in the space where the door should have been, and prayed so hard. I thought I was going to die, that was also part of the training, he did warn us.
I trusted in God and jumped, and just like the marathon runners, it was the most exhilarating feeling ever. I prayed all through the descent, especially grateful my parachute had opened. I landed a little way from the drop zone, but I was alive when I landed and thanks God for my experience. I did the jump to raise money for Ethiopia. I was moved by the suffering of the people and wanted to do something to help. I put my body and mind through the training to be ready, however, it was speaking to God that got me in the air.
It led to me thinking that Jesus came into the world to change it and the people. He prepared Himself physically and mentally, for the atrocities of Good Friday, in so doing making God accessible to us all.
When we come to Him, ask him to enter our lives, forgive our sins and be our own personal Saviour, I imagine He is so delighted, as He delights in us.
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the creation of the Church, not the buildings, but the body of the Church, which is you and me.
So, can we become athletes for God? Can we respect our bodies and sometimes still our minds, so that we are in the best shape we can be to hear what God is saying to us and to tell of the good news, that Jesus is for all. I pray we will all be for Jesus, as He is for us.
Let us get training, there’s no time like the present!
Have a blessed Pentecost, Debbie.
(Children & Families Minister)