The Fargo Marathon was this weekend. The kids competed in a 1/2 or 1 mile youth run. They knew they would probably not be the first one across the finish line, but they wanted to run. They wanted to finish. It seems to me now days that a kid wanting to finish anything is a lost quality, so I want to encourage that attitude any time I can. Finish. No matter what, no matter if you’re in last place, there are still people cheering for you. Finish they did. Not first, not last. Each child that crossed the finish line received a medal. I was proud of them! And then I was proud of the Fargo Marathon staff….
(I’m not sure why some kids got metal medals, and others got plastic ones.) I saw the back of the plastic award, and I was proud. “Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1
How cool is that?? Right there on the back of the finisher’s medal most of the kids received, was this verse.
Speaking of perseverance, I “ran” the 5k with my Sister-in-law and Mother-in-law (and the two little kids in the bike stroller). It took 45 minutes to drive to Fargo, and another hour of waiting around before we finally started the race itself. By this time JC had had enough. Not far out of the starting gate, JC was throwing such a fit that I removed him from the stroller to carry him for just a bit to calm him down. I asked Grandma to push while I carried him. Grandma TOOK OFF!! SIL and I laughed and made remarks on how she must be a closet NASCAR fan the way she weaved in and out of slower walkers. It was funny…..until she was a block ahead and I was still lugging an almost-30-pound child with me. My calves wouldn’t let me walk any faster and my back was straining. I realized at mile 2 that we were not going to catch up with Grandma and she apparently had no intention of waiting up. I thought about letting JC walk, but his shoes were still in the stroller. Then, I thought about calling Grandma on her cell…yep, mine was on the stroller.
By 2.5 miles I was trying to make light of the situation. My arms were tired. My face was red from the heat. SIL offered to take JC for a while, but he would not have it. Persevere. That’s what I needed to do. Mile 3 was a welcomed sign that the finish line was in sight!! I vaguely heard the announcer at the line say something about a mother-daughter team heading toward the finish. (Was he talking about us? I know I need to cut JC’s hair but…) We crossed the finish line. I had done it. I had several people ask me if I had carried HER the whole way (okay, it’s the hair…). I had persevered. The verse on the back of the medal says so much for every participant. This was only a 5k, I can’t imagine running the full or even half marathon. There are times when we need to push ourselves, we need to finish what we set out to do. Have faith that you can persevere, whatever “race” is set before you. Another verse comes to mind as well, one we used a few years back for vacation bible school: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 It’s all about your attitude. Run in such a way as to get the prize, even if you don’t finish first, you will finish trying.