Saturday I ran a half-marathon in Ludington, a nice town on the west coast of Michigan. All the Pierpont men participated in either the half-marathon or the 5K. Chuck, Dan and Wes ran the 5K. Kyle and I ran the long run. It was beautiful. It was sunny and cool at race time about 58 degrees. A perrrr-fect day on my favorite lake.
The course went north out of Ludington and wound though the countryside then followed a trail through the woods, up and down a sand dune, and over a dam. Then the course turned and Lake Michigan came into view. The sight of such a vast body of water always takes by breath away. The wind was stirring the dark blue water into waves. The course followed the coast of Lake Michigan for the last six miles.
Over thirteen miles is just plain a long way to run. The solitude of distance running is just one of it many appealing virtues. You think of many things to motivate yourself to press on through the discomfort of a run of that distance. One of the things you think about a lot is the end. You think about what it will be like to kick down the last strait to the finish. At the end there will be food to eat, bagels and bananas, drink and other fruit. But pressing yourself through the last few grueling miles you are not thinking about bagels and bananas. Maybe the thing you look forward to the most at the end of the race is the people you love who will be there to meet you. At the end of the race people line the course to watch you finish. Others are there who have finished the course ahead of you.
Dean Wheater, A runner from the church I pastored in Fremont, called out my name as I came to the finish. He shouted his congratulations that I was ahead of my projected finish time. Next I saw Dan and Wes they were smiling and jumping up and down. I asked them about their race as I ran the last hundred yards. Chuck was there and Kyle. They had finished and we eager to celebrate with me. A pastor friend, Dan Cummings waited there to greet me. He had finished long before me but we all stood there at the end and exalted togeather in the victory of finishing.
When the race of life is run that is the thing that we look forward to above everything else. We will be together at the end with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been cheering us along the way. We will celebrate with those who have finished ahead of us. Christ himself will be there to greet us and we will have fellowship with him face to face at the Finish. That’s something to look forward to during the long grueling run.
Riverfront Character Inn
June 21, 2004