Back in 2010, our family started running. We started slowly, just Kristen and Eunice, as a way to connect while Kristen was in her college years. Then Rebecca and Colleen joined, and then eventually, even Au. One year we ALL ran our local 5K together in our hometown, Highland Park, NJ.
As the girls grew and our family changed, we changed, too. Au and I realized that running is a metaphor that reminds us of the life we live in Christ.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1, 2
In 2019, we had a new running look as we posed for fun on the “winners'” blocks in a neighborhood run in Singapore.
We have been using that running metaphor to remind us of our purpose and to continue looking to Jesus on a daily basis. It is part of the story we tell when we connect with others.
As part of staying motivated during our home assignment, we invited our daughters to run with us in 2022, the first time Highland Park offered a 5K since the pandemic began. Colleen agreed to run with us. Here we are, as we gather before our race.
Tim captured a photo of me as I entered the final lap around the school track, complete with my running statistics.
Perhaps the most staying lesson from our run is how the Lord reminded us of the truth of the race as a metaphor for the Christian journey.
We had taken a break from our regular running routine as we re-entered the cold months of winter and resumed our training routine in late March, more than enough time for us to be ready for a run. We had even managed to run 4.5 miles about 10 days before our run – we were in good shape. 🙂
A few days before our scheduled 5K, we noticed a cough coming on and Au had spent two days resting, keeping a low profile. He had even stayed home from our favorite April activity, Rutgers Day, to conserve energy for the run.
The airgun announced our start and we were off!
As we rounded the first corner and ran along our main street, I noticed that Au wasn’t staying ahead as much as he usually did. I caught up to him and he said, “I’m out of breath already, I’m not sure I’ll make the entire run.”
We reminded each other that we were looking to complete the run, not WIN, and that it would be okay to walk if needed. Confident that he was well enough to continue, I kept up my slow and steady pace.
After I finished, I wondered how far behind Au was and expected to see him soon. But then I didn’t. And then I wondered, if, in fact, he HAD needed to walk most of the way. So then I began walking the route in reverse to look for him. When we met, I could see that he was winded but well enough to continue his walk to the finish. I reminded him that he could stop now but he said, “No, we are running with endurance, looking to Jesus, to finish.”
He smiled and then slowly jogged the rest of the way…to the finish.