Crossing the line

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

The sky was clear blue and the sun shone brightly as I stood with thousands of others at the top of Greenwich Park overlooking the City of London. It was nine o’clock in the morning and we were about to tackle the 26.2 mile course that is the London Marathon.

We crossed the start line and headed east towards Blackheath. Soon the pavements were lined with well wishers, big smiles on their faces, they cheered, shouted and clapped in support. Children held out their hands as we passed by hoping for a high five while pubs and churches had opened their doors early and were hosting big parties.

Whole communities had come together to make the most of the day and show their encouragement and support. For the first few miles I ran with a permanent grin on my face and goose pimples on my skin oblivious to the fact that I was running. The crowds continued for the whole length of the race.

During the final miles my legs began to cramp and I struggled to keep going. I forced myself forward by listening to the shouts of the spectators who urged me to ‘keep going’ and ‘you’re nearly there’. Then in the crowd I saw familiar faces; my wife and children jumping up and down and calling my name. This gave me the strength I needed to cross the line and receive my medal.

Father, thank you that you provide the encouragement we need whether from the saints and prophets of old or our family of believers today. Help us also to encourage others and to run the race set before us. Amen

By Adam Pope, Northampton, UK