This morning I’m in Tennessee. Manchester, Tennessee, to be exact. I’m having complimentary breakfast at a motel. There are 532 people in town this morning for “Warrior Dash.” Here in the dining room, the run/obstacle course is the common topic of most that are sitting at the tables. The conversations extend between tables, between people who don’t know one another. They are all here for one thing: to challenge themselves in the ultimate marathon.

One man, sitting near me, says he ran the course in Georgia last winter. He said it nearly killed him. He’s a runner, but he didn’t train for fifteen foot walls, pools of deep, ice-cold water, and mud holes that had to be negotiated to complete the run. He said he’d get cold, then run and get warm, only to dive in icy water or crawl through cold mud under wire. It takes a warrior to complete this run. One thing stands out to me in hearing the conversations. Old, young, they all seem to be comrades in a common goal. Yes, there are “winners.” Yet they talk of how they work together to just complete the course. They talk as if they will all be winners just to complete the run. Wow!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1Corinthians 9:24-27

No, I’m not making the run this year. Perhaps, Lord willing, my knees will one day be in shape enough to try one. It’s my son, and a friend, who will run this event today. They are on the wrestling team in their high school. Their coaches inspired them to try this out. They looked at videos of past events and thought it would be “fun.” That’s what my son said after crashing his tricycle when he was three years ole. I didn’t remind him that through his tears, he’d said, “I thought it was going to be fun!”

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

English: HOLLISTER, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2011) Pet...

English: HOLLISTER, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2011) Petty Officer 1st Class Darryl Hill crawls through the mud pit, the final obstacle at the Warrior Dash in Hollister, Calif. (U.S. Navy photo/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)