Monday, May 3, 2010

the race is long

Well, Saturday I finished my fourth marathon in Champaign. I saw some of you there and heard of many others. My friend JP Jones had the opening invocation and included a special prayer: "and God please help Mike Baker not to collapse". He may have saved my life. It didn't go as expected. I was hoping for around four and a half hours and instead finished just under five. Once again, my nutrition plan wasn't right and I got sick around 18 and puked (sorry for too much information) around 20 miles. Those last six miles were just grueling. Thought of quitting many times, but just kept going - through intervals of dry heaves (and real ones) and trying to get enough liquid in me. I thought of Jesus a lot and how thirsty and tired he was carrying a cross up the hill for my sins...but mostly I thought of how the race of the Christian life is so much like this. Sometimes the run is hard. Sometimes the pain is real. Sometimes doubts take over your mind about whether or not you can make it. Sometimes the race seems too long. Sometimes you just want to sit down. Sometimes a companions words help (and other time you want to punch them in the face). Well, you get the idea. Running a marathon is perhaps my favorite metaphor of the Christian life. So will I run another? Well, I vowed to never run again like I did in the previous marathons, but within a couple of hours, I really wanted to run again.

Why? I think it's crossing the finish line that draws me in. It is the most incredible thing in the world to cross the finish line after thinking you will never make it! And so it will be in heaven some day, we'll cross that line into glory and we can stop running by the blood and grace of Jesus. Hope I don't puke right across the finish line there like I did Saturday:-)

By the way, I recuperating in Laguna Beach this week. The leadership team on staff and i are in southern california to see some churches and talk with their leaders and to pray about and plan for what God is doing at Eastview. I'm technically working (my brain will be hurting about Wednesday by noon), but I'm not gonna lie, I'm looking out my window at some palm trees around a pool with the ocean in the background. But really I'm heading to an all day planning session right now - don't you feel sorry for me?


merry said...

Congrats on finishing! I ran the 5K at the IL Marathon on Saturday. I'm new to running and never thought it would be something I would enjoy, but I love it. Now training for a 10K.

I always understood the running references in the Bible, but they definitely mean so much more to me now. It sounds so simplistic, but whether it's life or running, you just have to keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other, not looking back.

Audrey said...

So fun to cheer you on with Sara on Saturday! And no, I don't feel sorry for you because I'm sure that meeting will be exciting for you (besides the view!). I hope you have a great time!

Dawn Billings said...

I am embarrassed to say I am jealous of you being in OC this week b/c Bruce I leave on Monday for the Holy Land! (I was born & raised in OC; moved here when I was 28... Head up Laguna Canyon to Aliso Viejo -- that's where Bruce & I lived when we were 1st married!)

We are going to Israel w/ a group from Harvest Christian Fellowship (in CA!!!)that Greg Laurie is taking. We used to attend his Mon. night Bible study eons ago at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

Any tips for us for Israel?? Here are a few for SoCal: Crab Cooker in Newport Beach is a must. The gazebo view of Dana Point Harbor is awesome (where we were engaged!); In & Out Burger -- need I say more!?!?

Have fun!
Dawn Billings