Sunday, August 19, 2007

the race

it's been a busy weekend. our church had a festival for the neighborhood and being the procrastinator that i am, there was a lot of stuff for don and i to get ready for the "youth ministry" booth. but we got it all done before we went to bed last night and had a great time today. i think our booth was the most popular so there was no down time. and it was hot. i had to come home and take a nap.

jake had an interesting 24 hours that i wanted to share. he is a runner. he runs on his school's cross country and track team. he has a coach that runs a 100 - YES! i said 100 - mile race. it's called the leadville 100 and it takes place up in the mountains. that means a lot of climbs and a lot of descents.

he runs this race every year. and every year, he invites students from his cross country team, both male and female, to go up and help pace him throughout the race. so, this is what happens each year. and each year, he finishes the race, much to the amazement of all of those who thinks 100 miles is just CRAZY!

anyways, jake ran with him for two separate legs of the race, totalling about 30 miles. yep, i think that's crazy, too. the rules of this race is that you can't have any pacers for the first 50 miles of the race. jake was the first pacer allowed. when his coach came into that check point, he was in bad shape. he was hurting and his attitude (understandably so) was that he didn't think he could go on. he rested a awhile and nourished his body with food and drink and then was ready to give try again.

jake said this next leg was grueling. going up a steep pass where most of the time was spent walking, not running. at some point, he stopped, thinking he couldn't go on. they rested some more before he thought he could try again. from that point, his spirit lifted and his body was able to go on and finish the race. he had a total of five boys pacing him for that last 50 miles. three of them took two separate legs. all five of them were there for the last few miles.

as jake related what all this looked, and felt, like and some side stories, two things came through loud and clear.

one) if his coach didn't have those boys there to help him - just to be there to encourage and support - he may not have finished the race. we are sometimes called to run a race (figuratively speaking) but we don't always have to do it alone. the example here is that the race gets easier and the odds of finishing is greater if someone is there to run with us, to pace us, as we try to get to the finish line.

two) i'll be honest; i wasn't thrilled with jake doing this. he would be running in the mountains on a course he wasn't familiar with, sometimes in the dark, and a large quantity of miles. but i knew how much he wanted to do it so don and i said yes. thankfully (thank you God), everything went well and there were no injuries. and the result was a once in a lifetime experience, one he will remember always. it also gave him the opportunity to be part of the journey - the race, that his coach - his friend, was on.

jake was part of the process that God wants for all of us. just to be there for someone as they're running their race.

link of the day:


barb said...

wow, that was quite an experience for Jake. I know how proud you are of him.

great illustration of our friends helping us run our race.

inspired said...


jennifer said...

Wow! I am impressed with Jake!!

But I really love how you tie this all to the Lord, we don't ever have to *run* alone do we?

Penless Thoughts said...

We so need each other!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a great thought to ponder. We do not have to run the race alone. Thank you, today has been a stressful one so far, and I am making it worse than it needs to be. I think I need a nap!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Wow! Good for him. That is so awesome and impressive. I am sure he'll always be so thankful he had that experience.

What a great analogy as well!

Lisa writes... said...

Great metaphor...seems we both have had running the race impressed on our heart!

Thanks for stopping by my site and posting a comment!

Kelli said...

I am so glad that Jake persevered through difficulties!! It sounds like a very hard race!

Lynne said...

I can't imagine doing a 100 mile race-and in the mountains yet! Amazing!!

Momma Roar said...

That is awesome! So awesome - that Jake wanted to help his coach, that he could exerperience that, and your thoughts about us not having to run our race alone!