I hope you have enjoyed a very happy Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We loaded up in the mini-van and drove to Minnesota…home of the Vikings, cold weather and Target :).
Along with my parents, my sister and her family, Leigh-Ann and I and the kids decided to participate in a walk/run event on the morning of Thanksgiving.
We arrived at 8am, just in time to hear the National Anthem…and then we waited in blowing snow for 45 minutes for the race to start. It looked like there were only a few hundred people participating until about 10 minutes before the start time, the smart ones came pouring out of their heated vehicles to join those of us who were freezing near the starting line.
Nearly 3,000 of us bunched in together and pretty soon we were off. Some of us walking and some of us running. I decided to try my best to keep up with the older cousins in the 5k run. The first mile was pretty fun and after several minutes I could finally start to feel my face again.
Mile two was getting a bit tougher…definitely not cold anymore…breathing was getting labored and the numbness in my legs turned into some pain as we pounded out the race. As we neared the turn before the final stretch, I was glad we only had a few hundred yards to go.
For the record, all four older cousins ran it without walking and all four cousins beat the old man (that’s me in case you’re wondering :)).
Walkers and Runners all gathered past the finish line by the drinks and fruit…it felt amazing and everyone was in a good mood.
It seemed that everyone was laughing and smiling while we guzzled Gatorade and shared highlights of the run.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of times when I was cold, out of breath, tired and even entertained thoughts of slowing down or stopping…but the suffering that we survived was nothing compared with the feeling of accomplishment that we enjoyed at the end.
This Sunday, I am excited to preach from Romans 8:18-25 on the topic of suffering compared to future glory. As Christians, if we merely focus on the moments of suffering, we will get overwhelmed…however, if we are able to zoom out a bit and compare our momentary suffering with the immense greatness of our future glory, we will be filled with hope and our faith will grow.
I hope you will not back away from the potential of suffering, but rather that you will step up to it…even if it means having to take a risk…more on that Sunday.
See you soon,