I am not a runner. I don't even play one on tv.
I don't know a lot about running other than I don't like to do it.
When I first heard about a marathon that was mis-marked to where runners ran an extra 800 feet, my first thought was, "When you're already running twenty-six miles, what is an extra eight hundred feet?"
The friend telling me about this incident went on to explain that this particular marathon was used for runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I do know enough about running to know the Boston Marathon is a big deal. With the added 800 feet, race times were wrong.
The runner I heard about was over a one minute too slow for the Boston. With the adjusted time, she was still fifteen seconds too slow.
Even though I am not a runner, I wonder what she was feeling as she finished that race. Did she see that she was over her BQ time and run just to finish the race rather than run with everything she had? A minute is a lot of extra time. Fifteen seconds, not so much. Did she have just a little bit more adrenaline she could have used to chop those fifteen seconds off of her time if she had known she was that close?
I think this is something like what the Hebrews writer is talking about when he instructs people to run the race with perseverance.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2 (emphasis mine)
Maybe he's not writing about an actual race, but he is writing about not giving up.
Run with perseverance; finish strong to the end. Don't run the race of life just to get it over with, run as if this race is Boston Marathon qualifying. Don't hold back.
The race marked out for us. Some runners in this mis-marked race noticed weird times and varying watch GPS readings. But they didn't cut corners. They made their concerns known but ran the race marked for them. Express your concerns to God but also continue knowing He has heard them and is taking care of them.
"Run with perseverence the race marked out for us."
Students, this means working hard all the way through final exams.
Employees, this means not spending your last hour of work watching YouTube videos and then zipping out early.
Unemployed college graduates, this means holding to your faith in this awkward time in between.
Don't make the mistake of thinking God has already closed a door. He has the power to reopen them as He desires.
Maybe I'm just preaching to myself...