This weekend, I headed out to Fort Worth for my first 10K. Around 5:30 in the morning I was up and eating a Cliff bar with little hope of running it in under an hour. For those of you who do not know, a 10K is six miles and as I normal run fairly slow (maybe a 12 minute mile or so) I figured it might take me an hour and a half. Granted, in a race I always run much faster, but I still was not hopeful. This did not depress me of course as I was more than happy to get an 'E' for effort and maybe even enthusiasm, and so I went into the race planning on doing my best and just being glad to finish. By the grace of God I finished in 56 minutes and 2 seconds, just two minutes behind a friend of mine who was running. It was very encouraging and just what I needed to revive my slowly waning running routine.
What was cool was the amount of people of the city who came out to cheer the runners on and it reminded me of a very important Christian truth. One of the reasons why we gather together as Christians, aside from the obvious joy of worshiping together, is so that we can, or at least should, encourage one another. Every time I began to feel as if I could not run much longer, we would pass crowds of cheering people, telling us that we could do it, that there was only a little more to go, and even providing gatorade and water to give us strength. It reminded me that this is what I should be doing for my brothers and sisters in Christ, cheering them on as they press on toward the goal to which God has called them heavenward (Phil 3:14). So I encourage you to encourage others, because we are not in this race alone!
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25