• Boston Marathon – a gift from God?

    Ryan Hall is the only American to have ever run a half marathon in less than one hour. And this week, he now holds the fastest time for an American to ever run a marathon – 2:04:58. Amazing – 26.2 miles in less than 2 hours and 5 minutes. That is running an average of 4 minutes and 46 seconds per mile for more than 26 miles. But there’s something more amazing – his attitude when he runs.

    I interviewed Ryan for my book, The Race. It was after he ran the Boston marathon in a previous year. He said to me, “What I pray when I’m out there racing and going through those hard times is just to be in the presence of God. I want to find a way to connect with Him in those hard moments because whenever I’m in His presence I always feel the joy. I think that’s the best way to find joy – just to connect and to be in His presence.”

    Ryan said that Monday’s Boston Marathon was an incredible race because he ran the course faster than anyone previously has ever run it. Yet, he couldn’t even see the person who won the race because he was so far ahead. The winner, a Kenyan – Geoffrey Mutai, ran 26.2 miles faster than any human has ever run that distance – 2:03:02. After finishing the historic race, Mutai said, “I see this as a gift from God. I don’t have more words to add.”

    Both Hall and Mutai see their running abilities as gifts from God. I asked Hall why he runs in the interview for my book. He said, “I felt like God told me that He had given me a gift, and that gift is to be used to help other people. So, I run to accomplish that. And in pursuing that, I find fullness of life and fullness of joy….”

    Hall and Mutai have something in common. Something more than breaking a record on Monday. Both see their abilities as “gifts from God.” True champions in life recognize that their abilities are God’s gifts and use those abilities in a manner that brings Him glory. Hall and Mutai are not only marathon champions, but life champions.

    April 20th Posted in: Uncategorized with 1 Comment

  • Why build endurance

    When the doctor told me that I needed to lose weight and build endurance before my cancer surgery, I knew how to do both – run. That’s when this incredible adventure began. It’s when I discovered the correlation between running principles and biblical truths.

    The key word used by the doctor was “endurance.” He said that it would be extremely helpful in the recovery process. He was right. My recovery went as well as it could have possibly gone.

    At the same time he told me to build endurance, God spoke to my heart during my quiet time from Hebrews 12:1, which says to “run with endurance.” God was definitely trying to get my attention about building endurance. I would develop this character trait by training to run the original Greek marathon course. One of the first questions in my mind was, “Why is endurance so important?”

    Enough time has passed and with the completion of the marathon, I have a few insights to the answers to that question.

    1. There will definitely come times of pain and suffering in the race of life. Only those who have built endurance will be able to finish the race.
    2. Those who complete the marathon receive a medal for finishing. Those who endure in the race of life receive a crown of glory at the end.
    3.  There is an incredible sense of fulfillment and joy once we have endured hardships and pain.
    4. We learn to appreciate the pain and suffering of others as we build endurance.
    5. Patience is an important character quality that enables us to run the race of life as a champion. It is gained as we learn to endure difficulties.
    6. Endurance makes life much more enjoyable post recovery!

    I’m sure there’s much more to learn. But I’m still in the process. I’m still running. I’m still growing. What an adventure!

    April 12th Posted in: Uncategorized with No Comments