The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

04/23/2014

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The Marathon - The Race


"So, when Persia was dust, all cried, 'To Acropolis!'
Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
'Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!' He flung down his shield
Ran like fire once more: and the space 'twixt the fennel-field
And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
Till in he broke: 'Rejoice, we conquer!' Like wine through clay,
Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss!
"

Pheidippedes by Robert Browning 1879

A person decides that they want to run a marathon, as that 26 mile and 385 yard figure dominates their thoughts... So in goes the preparation of mile after mile of running to get ready. You go out in the heat and the cold, the wind and the rain, the light and the dark to prepare. But the truth is this... Its all about the race! The preparation aside, one must still put one foot after the other for over 26 miles... The enormity of what you have set out to accomplish doesn't really hit you until the gun goes off and you take that first of many steps... Freddie admitted to me that the daunting task of completing the race dominated his mind for a week or two before the race and I think I actually saw a look of relief as he began running.. Jane, Amy, Alan, and I were able to drive to various places along the course, get out of the car and shout words of encouragement to him... Jane and Amy even made signs to hold up... "Similarly, if one competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules" (2 Tim.2:5). The apostle Paul writes several times in comparing the Christian life to a life-long race. "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.... They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever" (1 Cor.9:24-25). When we become Christians, we take on the task of the marathon. Each moment of each day, it is one foot ahead of the other on the path to the prize... "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly..." (1 Cor.9:26). It is a run in which daily preparation must be made, rules must be followed, and steps must be made with purpose... If we hope to get the prize... If we hope to gain the real crown of life, we must all participate in the race... "Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed (reward) is thy due..." All of us were extremely proud of Freddie as he completed the race in 4 hours and fifteen minutes. His sense of accomplishment was enormous, as was ours. My last words of the morning.... "Run well..."

Have a wonderful day... Do good... Give God the glory... Love mark Phil.4:11

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