I started the race the way that I start most races. I prayed. I prayed that God would keep me healthy. I asked for a fast race, but told Him that I would understand if that was not His will for me today. Either way, I promised to use the race to bring Him glory. I was planning on blogging about the experience. I had no topic in mind, but knew that something would come to me. It dd.
First, let's address that humility thing. I had gotten complacent in my training and eating schedule during November. I thought that I could dictate my future based on my effort. God showed me who was in charge of my life. It is not me. No matter how hard I mentally tried to run faster, my body had another idea. I struggled more today than any race in the past two years. My time ended up ten minutes slower than my average race.
My focus changed the further I went through the 13.1 miles. I knew early on that trying for a record was going to be impossible. This race is a major fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. None of the patients or their families ever receive a bill for their treatment. The race course went through the middle of the campus. My heart was opening up as I worked my way through the hospital grounds.
Here is where the gratitude kicks in. Danny Thomas had a vision.
"Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine."
-Danny Thomas' prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus
Unsure of his life's direction, a young Danny Thomas sought guidance from St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. If the saint would point to the path he should take, Danny vowed to build a shrine in his name. Success followed Danny's plea and soon after, the legendary entertainer set about fulfilling his vow to St. Jude. The result was St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Even though they have increased the survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20% in 1962 to over 80% now, there is still so much more to accomplish. Too often, we take our health for granted while others are fighting for their lives. God has blessed me with good health and I am truly grateful. I have two sons that have grown into fine young adults without having to worry about their health.
Today, was just a race, or was it? It put everything back into perspective for me. I was focused on myself and my own accomplishments. That is such a small distraction that took my focus away from God's will. I am unsure what His will is for me in my life, but I doubt if getting a personal record in a half marathon is it. Please join me in praying for those that are less fortunate than ourselves. Do not take your blessings for granted.