Run no. 46 and 47 – The importance of distance markers


5 Km

Distance: 4.53 miles   Time: 42’13””  (PB 38’ 28”)

When running longer distances it is important to know where you are in your run.

At the various points you are liable to certain things:

At the start, particularly in a race, the adrenalin is pumping and you are apt to go off too fast, burning up too much energy too soon, which will cause you to struggle in the later stages.

In the mid-point you can lose focus and unwittingly slow down. You need to know where your body is in regard to any ‘second-wind’ effect.

Towards the end you need to know how your body is doing and how far the finish line is, so you can time any final ‘push’.

In a similar fashion our earthly life is often compared to a spiritual race – a brief period of sentient existence where we are invited to recognize the love of God that surrounds us; a love that is expressed in the beauty of what God has made and also, supremely, in the person of Jesus. We must then each choose what response we make to that love, but a positive response ushers us into a new level of existence;

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.[1]

As in long distance running it is important for us to know where we are in the race of life.

Birth – We are alive and in the process of becoming, of actualising our divinely gifted potential. We learn about the world and ourselves.

Childhood – We are growing, developing. Through the experience of family we learn about love, which enables us to start to imagine what God might be like – our heavenly Father/Mother. We explore, we are in awe of wonder and beauty – all of which point us to God.

Adolescence/Adulthood – We establish our own identity, we choose who we are and decide what we will be. We consider the meaning of our existence; we start to consider what a successful life might mean. We set our values, our goals, and what means we are prepared to use to attain them; will we reject or accept the boundaries God places upon us?

Marriage – We experience human love in all its wonder. We decide whether to give and receive love, whether to work at cherishing and protecting it. We experience a deeper understanding of the depths of love and glimpse a new dimension of the love God has for us.

Parenthood – We experience for ourselves the powerful nature of fatherhood/motherhood, we get a new insight into the love of our perfect heavenly Father, and we learn something of the cost that God the Father was willing to pay when Jesus died for us at Calvary.

Middle-Age – We become increasingly aware of our mortality. We realise that our earthly existence is limited and we start to examine how we have lived. Have we lived well? Is there much that we still need to do?  What changes do we need to make that we might consider our lives to have been fulfilled?

Old-Age – We prepare to die. We set ourselves to finish well; we prioritise the really important and we let go of the inessential. We take pleasure where we find it, we celebrate the good that our lives have brought us; we look forward to the next stage of our adventure with Jesus.

Each of these stages in our ‘run of life’ has its own opportunities, dangers, and challenges. It is good to know where we are, it is good to know where we are going, it is good to prepare ourselves to face what comes next.

[1] John 17:3 NIV