I’m Running A Boston MarathonPosted: May 8, 2008
Not really, but please read on (even though it’s long)
A couple weeks ago, one of the most important marathon races of the year took place in Boston. The Boston Marathon is considered one of the most prestigious road races. Only those that meet qualifying standards are allowed to run in this event. The best runners from around the world are invited to compete for the illustrious crown every year.
This year’s men’s winner, Robert K. Cheruiyot from Kenya, had this to say about the Boston Marathon. “This was the hardest. Boston is not a very easy course, it’s very difficult. [But] I enjoy running the hills.” Although he repeatedly checked his watch as he ran alone for the last miles, Cheruiyot did not challenge the course record of 2:07:14 he set two years ago. His problem: no one to race with. “It’s very difficult when you’re running alone here in Boston,” he said. “You need company.”
As some of you may know, I’m moving to Boston in early June. I’ll be attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the Fall. Actually, this decision’s been a long time in the making. Some of you may ask: why Boston? to answer all the cynics, “No, I’m not jumping on the bandwagon. Yes, all their professional sports teams are winning championships, but I still love my cubs, bulls, & bears.” Ok, so why Boston then? Simply, I feel called. Yes, the city is rich with history. Yes, it’s quaint & beautiful. But much more than that, I think about the Kingdom potential of the city (I blame Pastor Min for giving me eyes to always see potential). If you consider all the Ivy League schools within miles of each other & the types of people that flow through this city, it’s such a huge hub of influence. Men & women that will lead the future of this world flow through this very city. So imagine the Kingdom potential! If Christ can capture the heart of one…many will follow. It’s pretty exciting.
Don’t get me wrong. I realize the naive nature of this vision. But I can’t help but to hold on to the verse in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” There is a power in the Gospel that reaches far beyond hyper intellectualism. There is a power in the Gospel that breaks the grip of money-grubbing hands. And there most certainly is a power in the Gospel that redeems the worldliest efforts for power & influence. So it’s with this vision I set on toward Boston, but not one step ahead of Jesus, who leads me.
But unlike Cheruiyot, who had no one to run with, I won’t be alone in Boston. I’m going to be attending school with my good friend, Hojin. Among other friends already in Boston, I feel as though God’s surrounding me with much needed spiritual accountability. I can’t imagine what this next stage of life would look like without brothers and sisters in Christ that’ll run alongside me. What Cheruiyot said is so true. You need company.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 7 years on campus here at U of I, it’s that this Christian race is meant to be run with other people. With the spiritual accountability of my church, CFC, I always felt like I had 800 brothers and sisters running right alongside me at any given moment. And let me tell you, sometimes that’s what kept me going one more day. It’s a lesson I’ll always take with me wherever I go. When I fall, I need someone to pick me up. When I slow down, I need someone to push me. And when I’m tired, I need someone to keep me going. The Christian marathon was never meant to be run alone.
Most of all, I’m excited to be a part of God’s plan. I know very little about what next year’s going to look like. I’ll be a full-time student again, but other than that, I’m committed to walking by faith & not by sight. Beyond that I know much less about what the next 10 years will look like. Where will I live? Which church will I serve? Who will I be serving? Admittedly, they’re all questions I’m asking myself, but ultimately I entrust all things to the God who knows insurmountably more than I could ever know. So more than the anxiety of me not knowing, I’m thankful that God knows.
Please pray for me as I transition from the cornfields of Chambana to the winding roads of Boston. I’m still in the process of finding a place to live next year & in search for a church in the Boston area. Finances are also a huge worry and prayer request, because I forgot how poor you are when you’re a student! But most of all, pray that I’d faithfully run this race until the very end. Pray that whatever the circumstances, I’d never let up or give up.