Thousands of runners, with more than a hundred in this time slot, and there I was, in the middle of the action. I’d not been among this many crazy people since my last visit to the hospital for the mentally ill in Wichita Falls.
I’d gotten up early, anticipating the 5½ mile run down winding trails and up steep hills, with obstacles that will take away your last breath.
The temperature had taken a savage drop from the Texas summer heat. Facing a cold wind from the north, I had to jog in place to keep warm, stepping to the beat of the way-too-loud music. How so many could run shirtless and in shorts was beyond my understanding.
At the end of the count-down, the dam burst and released a flood of runners, which soon narrowed to a steady stream snaking around a winding path, with a trickle at the end. I held my breath at the plunge into the trough of frigid water as ice cubes spilled over the side. This made the crawl through the hundred feet of muddy water beneath barbed wire feel much warmer.
After the grueling run that took almost two hours, I was exhausted. And I wasn’t the one who was running. All I did was watch, take pictures, and think about what I should write about. My youngest son, Brad, was the one with the stamina and desire to be in the race.
What’s the point of this story?
On that cold day in September, I was like the person who attends church and feels like he’s exerted himself in service. But attendance and running the race are two different things, aren’t they?
Since we are surrounded by so many who would cheer our run to the finish, let’s put aside everything that would weight us down or send us in the wrong direction. Then we can run with patient endurance the path God has set before us. — Hebrews 12:1

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