Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why I am Still Running the Kentucky Derby Marathon

In less than two weeks (April 27) I am scheduled to run the Kentucky Derby Marathon in Lousiville. In the light of the recent tragedy in Boston several people have asked me if I am still going, or if I am concerned about participating in this upcoming event. If this is of no interest to you, do not feel pressured to read what I have to say. But if you do wonder what a Christian runner may think about all of this, please read this post in full.

Here are the reasons why I am still running on April 27th:

1. I have faith in God. I believe that He is in control. I understand that we live in a world where terrorism has become a reality, and that we are never completely safe from the works of evil. Someone could break into your house tonight to hurt you. Someone could attack you on the street or unleash a device in a crowd. I cannot keep people from making bad choices. But I am a Christian and I am confident that God has preserved my soul for the day of judgment by the blood of Jesus Christ. By the grace of God I am ready for that day, whenever it may come.

2. I want to be healthy. So in a sense I am running for myself and my family. I want to be around for them for years to come, and my running has allowed me to be as healthy as I have ever been, even after cancer. I am still dedicated to the pledge of living as healthy as I can, by eating things that are good for me and exercising. My body is the temple of Holy Spirit. In order to serve the Lord, my family, and mankind, I am going to keep running for my health.

3. I will not live in fear. It is very common for people to make decisions that will help them to avoid trouble. In many instances this is wise. When we know that something is dangerous we should always weigh all of the particulars. Is it really worth it? A respect for the value of life will sometimes cause us to not participate in certain things or go specific places. Running in a marathon in a major city with thousands of people should be safe. Going to a ball game should be safe. Going to a movie should be safe. Going to school should be safe. Yet there has been terrorism in all of these places. But we will not stop going to any of them - because they are normal and good things...and we need to continue to live our lives normally.

4. I am running for the victims of Boston. It would be sad if we were to ever allow something they loved to be removed from society because somebody decided to be evil. I have heard that some people complained because they didn't get to finish the marathon. Who cares? Some people lost their lives or have injuries that will handicap them from now on. People have been emotionally scarred and have seen images and have experienced things they will never be able to remove from their memory. So we need to keep things in perspective. Nothing we can do will ever make what they have dealt with better. Only the hope we have of heaven can do this. One day, if we have obeyed the gospel and have been faithful to it, none of the worries and troubles of this life will matter. Until that time, the victims of this tragedy need prayers and support. One way I can support them is letting them know that I love something they love, too. And it is a good thing to share these feelings together.

And so, for this reason, and 1000 more, I am running the marathon and will keep running. Life is a blessing - it must not be wasted. Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...

I am thankful for our omnipotent God. The Lord is with me, whom shall I fear? What can man do to me?

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7

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