Thursday, April 14, 2011

Outside Marathon

"This is the only race worth running..." 2 Timothy 4:7 The Message

The last day I was the designated driver for the "Road Warrior for Real Warriors" journey of 1200 miles across Texas, we were to meet up with the new driver flying in for the "switch" just outside the city of Marathon.

The winds were blowing hard with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. The awning on the RV once again unfurled and whipped around like a sail in the ocean with a novice captain and crew. Not much fun for driver or riders to be sure.

I pulled over about 10 miles before our destination, unsure if the cyclists could even go the distance - Marathon. By the time they arrived, wind blown and ready for a short break, two cyclists heading West (we were headed East) were coming up the road.

They crossed the highway to greet us and compare notes on the journey behind them and get information on the journey ahead. It turns out the elderly (and by that I mean much older than me) couple were from The Netherlands traveling 10,000 kilometers! Roughly 6,500 miles. Why?

"...I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way..."

There were no people standing on the sidelines cheering them on. They weren't out to share a cause, raise awareness, make a point for or against anything. They were just riding across the continent. They had the time, the resources and the stamina to do so. But really, why would anyone do such a thing?

When I told people I was returning to Mexico, I was met with many questions and downright disbelief? "Really, Mexico? Why? Don't you know how dangerous it is?"

In my years of ministry, believe me I have stopped, just "outside Marathon" many times. I have had to regroup, assess damage and determine to press on. I have had to answer the "why" question over and over again. But, I have also shared blessed encounters with fellow missionaries who "cross the road" and encourage me to go the distance.

"...All that's left is the shouting - God's applause."

Here in Las Margaritas, I am running the race He has set before me. Our team is equipping the local lay leadership. We are sharing the love of Christ with indigenous children and adults. We are giving the message of hope in barrios filled with hopelessness. We will keep the faith. Our final destination is much farther than Marathon, it is the Kingdom to come!

"I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got." 1 Corinthians 9:26 The Message

Tying my running shoes on and thinking of the little girl who did not ask for candy, but for shoes to cover her bare feet.


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