The race set before us
Some of the Bible’s whole-life message is not about being in the place you feel called to but rather serving in the place you find yourself today.
I read this year about 26-year-old plumber, Mike Kohler, who ran a marathon … by mistake!
Kohler had entered for the half-marathon at the 2018 Sanford Fargo event but the full marathon started from the same place and just a little later on the same day and Mike arrived early.
He didn’t realise what had happened until he was over eight miles in, and noticed the course was diverging from the path that he was expecting. When he was at the halfway point he thought about stopping, but decided against it.
“I’m just going to go for it, because why not? I’m already here, I’m already running, I’m already tired. Might as well try to finish it.”
Sometimes we find ourselves somewhere different to our preparations, hopes and intentions. Perhaps that’s when we are called to keep going as faithfully as we can – we are here already – might as well try to finish.
Shockingly, this isn’t the first time this sort of mix up has happened. Some years ago Georgene Johnson aged 42 had entered a 10K race and in exactly the same way started her race early with the marathon runners.
About four miles into the race, Johnson said she realized something was wrong because the turnaround point was nowhere in sight.
"So I sidled up to a male runner and said, 'This is the 10K, isn't it?' " Johnson said. When told she was running in the marathon, she said, "I felt so dumb that I just stood there and started to cry."
She asked a police officer to drive her back to the starting line to compete in the 10K but the officer didn't have a patrol car.
Georgene is now famously quoted as saying to herself:
“This isn’t the race I trained for. This isn’t the race I entered. But, for better or worse, this is the race I’m in.”
By the way, Johnson finished in an astonishingly brilliant 4 hours, 4 minutes.
For all the people who find themselves today not in the place they, sought, trained for or hoped for – there is a great message here.
We can and should pray for God’s guidance to his next good thing for us for tomorrow, but for today we are where we are and this Frontline right in front of us, is the race we are in and we are called to serve Him as best we can.