So, inspired by the prematurely deceased Steve (running is about “guts”) I had gone out hard, and in the last 500m had overtaken two folk who had been ahead of me for most of the race. One is in the British Army, the other (according to the results) is called “unknown” (was he Jacob’s angel in Strathclyde Park? –Genesis 32).
I was hanging on at this point, I was in complete pain, but something inside me had to keep going, was even more frightened of stopping, of being caught.
I used to love running. Now it was a thing where the satisfaction came afterwards. The thing itself was pain and pressure, and the Strathclyde was something I had come to dread, glad when it was over.
This has been a crazy week. I have worked longer hours than any week in years, I have been getting up at 5 in the morning. There have been all manner of different situations and problems and meetings to think about. Curiously the thing that has received the worst of time, and has been the hardest, has been my preaching, the thing I am called to the most. My wife also has not seen too much of me.
And then I felt a sharp twang in my leg, my hamstring had gone (incidentally an injury I first received at our Sunday School picnic). I limped over the line. The woman on the finish line asked me if I was hurt, and informed me that I still had a good time (Good time? How can anything over 20 minutes be classified as a good time? – Curiously there had been a woman in the care next to me this morning saying exactly that, she wasn’t a 20 minute runner, and would be happy to go round in 40 minutes).
So perhaps as Jacob’s hip had been dislocated in a contest with “unknown”, a similar fate had befallen my hamstring. There is something more important in my life than breaking the 19minutes 30second barrier in the 5k.
I am reading a great book on the Emotionally Healthy Church, by Frank Scazzero. It’s about the crisis that was precipitated in his life when his wife informed him that she was leaving his Church.
Tomorrow I am thinking about the leader Nicodemus, the leader who had reached the front of the pack, and who had heard about Jesus, who admired Jesus, who met Jesus, and yet was still outside of the kingdom of God.