DayBreaks for 10/20/16 – The Race I’m In

DayBreaks for 10/20/16 – The Race I’m In

I ran across an amazing story. I don’t know this woman, nor have I met her or anyone who knows her, but I must say that I admire her! Why? Because one day, at age 42, in beautiful(?) downtown Cleveland, she ran a marathon by accident (yep, all 26 miles, 385 yards of it). Her name was Georgene Johnson. Still is. On the day of the race, she accidentally lined up with the wrong group at the starting line. She meant to line up with the runners for the 10K group, where she belonged. Not the 26 mile group, where she didn’t.

It wasn’t until she hit the four mile mark that she realized her mistake. So, what did Georgene Johnson do? She just kept going, finishing the race in four hours and four minutes. But it’s what she said later (by way of explanation) that really impressed me. Said Georgene: “This isn’t the race I trained for. This isn’t the race I entered. But, for better or worse, this is the race I’m in.”

Isn’t that true of most of us? Relatively few of us are exactly where we figured we’d be in life, or even where we planned to be….doing exactly what we figured we’d be doing. But we are where we are, and (for better or worse) we’re keeping our feet moving.

You may be disappointed, feeling you somehow got in the wrong race. You didn’t. You’re in a race that God chose for you. You may have gotten there by getting in a wrong line somewhere once upon a time, but God knew you would get in that line. The question is, what will we do? We can throw up our hands and just sit on the curbside and quit moving, or like Georgene, we can look around us, admit we’re not where we thought we should be, but keep on going.

How do you think Georgene felt after she finished the race? I bet she felt tired, but terrific. That’s how most people feel when they don’t give up, when they don’t grow weary. After all, He helped Georgene mount up as if on eagle’s wings, and if you keep at it, you, too, shall soar!

PRAYER: It is easy for us to not be very happy with where we are and to give up instead of working through difficulties, Lord. Remind us that you, too, worked through many difficulties and your word even says you “learned obedience” by the things you suffered! Help us to have firm resolve and to keep on moving until we find our feet on the streets of gold!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

 

DayBreaks for 6/13/16 – To Stand Beside the King

DayBreaks for 6/13/16 – To Stand Beside the King

There is an old story about the Greek Marathon. Muscular, conditioned runners paced nervously near the starting line for the long-distance race. The time was near. They “shook out” their muscles, inhaled deeply, and put on their “game faces.” In the midst of it all, a young stranger took his place at the starting line. His physique was awesome. Taking no notice of the other contestants, he stared straight ahead. Two prizes would be awarded the winner of the Marathon: a magnificent bouquet of flowers and the honor of standing beside the king until the conclusion of other contests. There seemed to be no question among the runners about who would win the prize. It is alleged that the stranger was offered money not to run. Someone else attempted to bribe him with property. Refusing the offers, he toed the mark and awaited the signal to run. When the signal was given, he was the first away. At the finish line, he was the first to cross, well ahead of the rest. When it was all done, someone asked the young man if he thought the flowers were worth as much as the money and property he had refused. He replied, “I did not enter the race for the flowers. I ran so that I could stand beside my king!”

Again, the woman who “intruded” into the Pharisee’s house apparently had one thing on her mind. She wanted to stand beside her king.

We might do things for a wide variety of motivations, some good, some bad. Some confess faith in Christ because it is expected of them. Some may do it more as a social engagement. Those who do so will not last in the race to the finish. We need a motivation that will stand the tests of life. Can you imagine what it would be like some day to stand beside Jesus?

Run the race so you can stand beside your King!

PRAYER: Jesus, we long to finish the race and stand beside our King. Help us to persevere, run well and may we one day stand in your presence! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 10/23/13 – The Race We Are In

DayBreaks for 10/23/13 – The Race We Are In

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT) – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

Let me tell you a story about someone that I’ve never met and only just read about, but I deeply admire her: one day, at age 42, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, this woman ran a marathon by accident (all 26 miles, 385 yards of it). Her name is Georgene Johnson.  You may have heard her story, how she lined up with the wrong group at the starting line. Not the 10K group, where she belonged. But the 26 mile group, where she didn’t.

It wasn’t until the four mile mark that she realized her mistake. So she just kept going, finishing the race in four hours and four minutes. But it’s what she said later (by way of explanation) that struck a chord within me.  Said Georgene: “This isn’t the race I trained for. This isn’t the race I entered. But, for better or worse, this is the race I’m in.”

Isn’t that how life is?  Think about the single mother, struggling to make ends meet.  Think of the addict with the needle in his/her arm, the prostitute or starving.  None of them ever hope to be such things when they were starting out in life. 

You may find yourself in a similar situation.  You may be doing something for work that you never thought you’d be doing – a step down from your early aspirations.  You may find yourself worn out at day’s end from little children dogging your every step, demanding every ounce of energy and attention you have to offer. You may have thought you’d be living in a comfortable retirement but due to the downturn a few years back, that dream is largely gone up in smoke.

This is the race I’m in.”  No matter what season of life we are in, relatively few of us are exactly where we figured we’d be….doing exactly what we figured we’d be doing. But we are where we are, and (for better or worse) we’re keeping our feet moving.  Why?  Perhaps it is because we have no choice.  Perhaps it is because we are still grasping a thread of hope for better times in front of us.  But the best motivation of all is to understand that where ever we are right now, we are to serve the King.  We are where we are as part of a plan that He’s working out in our lives. We can make a difference right now, right where we are.  I may not have become the neurosurgeon that I dreamed of being, but I’m something better.  I’m a disciple of Jesus.  I’m a child of the King!  The question is what will I do with this day of the race I’m in?  What will you do with yours?

How do we do it?  The answer is in the passage above: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…” not on broken hopes or dreams.  We aren’t even to set our eyes on the finish line, but on the person of Jesus, who will carry us over that finish line!  What do you see as you face your day?  Jesus?  Or just another day of living?

PRAYER: Jesus, we can so easily despair about what has become of our hopes and dreams for our lives.  Give us the wisdom to realize that no matter what and where we are now, that You have invited us to join You in Your work – to make the best of this and every day for as long as we draw breath.  Lift our eyes to see you rather than our problems!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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