People lined the rain soaked streets clapping and screaming “great job, you can do it”. As I ran passed them I would nod my head and say “Thanks, but really save it for the marathon runners. I am just part of the relay race.” They would respond “Well, you’re still doing a great job!” There I was among the marathon runners that by this time had been running for 3 hours and had only 5 miles left to complete. It was honor to run among such determined people. However, I was fresh and knew I would only run for 1 hour. I was not in the same league but had the awesome experience to run with them.
I ran alone yet among many with my iPod on and the music helping me to keep pace. I noticed people struggling and felt compelled to encourage them in this feat. I would say “You are looking strong, hang in there!” Then as I neared the 23 mile marker I noticed more marathon runners on the side of the road stretching or taking a break in pain. I said “I will pray for your pain” to one person on the side of the bridge I was crossing and as I said this and they said “thank you” I felt chills all through my body. I prayed “God please help the person in the orange shirt and black shorts to ease their pain and help them finish.” Thoughts and emotions raced through my mind and suddenly I realized I wasn’t in this race to win anything but to let people know that God was there and I felt God call me on a mission to pray for everyone who was injured, and there were many. As I would see a person in pain I would get their attention, make eye contact and say “I am praying for you now”. Then I saw a man about 30 years old with his ear plugs from his iPod on and gestured to him. He removed the ear plugs and said “hey” I replied “what’s your name?” He said “Thad” and I said “Thad, I will pray for you right now!” A huge smile formed across his pain stricken face and the sensation of God’s presence was so great that I almost felt a jolt of chills hit my body.
Many times in life we are focused on what we believe is the goal and we disregard the true needs that surround us. I thought I was running a race with my friends, I was, but God called for me to be there to give encouragement, smiles, and God’s presence through my prayers to those in pain. Be aware, God has a direction for your life, let Him guide you and the feelings you will experience will outweigh any award that a race or this world could possibly hold.
Copyright 2010 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp