My dream is to run the Boston Marathon.
Four times I have endured the grueling discipline of training for and completing a marathon in four different states. And each time I have battled a love/hate relationship with it.
But as much as I have been relieved to cross that finish line and put it behind me, I just can’t seem to shake the feeling of actually qualifying for Boston and running there.
I imagine many of the runners in Boston were much like me. Especially the ones who were nearing the finish line 4 hours and 9 minutes after the start, around the time the bombs went off. They weren’t the elite runners, they were the “slower” ones (relatively speaking); the ones who had perhaps just recently achieved their goal time qualifying them for Boston. The ones running their dream!
Almost finished. So close yet so far away as the dream turned in to a nightmare.
As we sit glued to our televisions, once again, in what is becoming all to familiar. We ask again- why? And look in horror as video footage of the injured being carried away in stretchers is replayed.
At a time like this there are no answers. Just lots of questions, sadness and fear. So I turn to the Psalms where many of those crying out to the Lord are expressing the very real and raw emotions of anger, desperation, doubt, fear and confusion.
And God is Ok with this. He actually wants this. He wants our pain. He wants our honest cries. And He wants to meet us there in the midst of it. It is there that we find that He enters in. He doesn’t leave us, but enters life’s storms with us. And stands as our One and Only True Hope and Promise of Life.
Praise God because I can’t imagine this world apart from knowing Him. I can’t imagine how things would be without His hope. I can’t imagine the fear that could engulf me in light of things like what happened in Boston, at Sandy Hook, in Colorado, in NYC, in OKC…
So next week when I step up to the starting line in Oklahoma City to do the half this time around with my daughter, I will not stand in fear as I stand with thousands of other runners during the 168 seconds of silence in honor of those whose lives were lost in the 1995 bombing.
Instead of being paralyzed by fear of the unknown or the what-ifs, I will rest in my One Protector. And I will run. Run to Remember. And run knowing there is nowhere safer than resting in the arms of the Lord.
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