People lined the rain soaked streets clapping and screaming “great job, you can do it”. As I ran passed them I would nod my head and say “Thanks, but really save it for the marathon runners. I am just part of the relay race.” They would respond “Well, you’re still doing a great job!”
There I was among the marathon runners, average people running a little less than 10 minute miles that by this time had been running for 3 hours and had only 5 miles left to complete. It was an honor to run among such determined people. However, I was fresh and knew I would only run for 1 hour. I was not in the same league but had the awesome experience to run with them.
I ran alone yet among many with my iPod on and the music helping me to keep pace. I noticed people struggling and felt compelled to encourage them in this feat.
I would say “You are looking strong, hang in there!”
Then as I neared the 23 mile marker I noticed more marathon runners on the side of the road stretching or taking a break in pain.
I said “I will pray for your pain” to one person on the side of the bridge I was crossing and as I said this and they said “thank you” I felt chills all through my body.
I prayed “God please help the person in the orange shirt and black shorts to ease their pain and help them finish.”
Thoughts and emotions raced through my mind and suddenly I realized I wasn’t in this race to win anything but to let people know that God was there and I felt God call me on a mission to pray for everyone who was injured, and there were many. As I would see a person in pain I would get their attention, make eye contact and say “I am praying for you now”.
Then I saw a man about 30 years old with his ear plugs from his iPod on and gestured to him. He removed the ear plugs and said “hey” I replied “what’s your name?” He said “Thad” and I said “Thad, I will pray for you right now!” A huge smile formed across his pain stricken face and the sensation of God’s presence was so great that I felt a jolt of energy surge through my body.
Many times in life we are focused on what we believe is the goal and we disregard the true needs that surround us. I thought I was running a race with my friends, I was, but God called for me to be there to give encouragement, smiles and comfort and His very presence through prayer to those in pain.
Look around you and be aware, God has a direction for your life, let Him guide you and the feelings you will experience will outweigh any award that this world could possibly hold.