Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Running the Race

Lead article in March 2009 Insights, by Dr. David Robinson, EFC-MAYM General Superintendent:

I hate to run. That is why I chose the interior line in high school football. All I had to do was take a few steps hit somebody and fall down. The only time I got a quarterback sack was when he stumbled and I fell on him. About 25 years ago, I set out to run a mile. It took about 3 weeks to work up to it. Running is pain for me – agony. Do you know that the Greek word for race is “agon”? Just put the “y” on the end of it and you get the picture.

My father was a runner in high school. He won the Galveston County mile and got to run in the state of Texas track meet as a senior in high school. I definitely didn’t get that gene. Adam Monaghan is a runner. He loves it – lives for it. Last fall, he and Allen Smelser ran the 104 miles from the Ministry Center to the Barclay Campus to raise money for the Missions Scholarship. They raised almost $13,000. It took 26 hours. Now that, to me, is a picture of what agony looks like – a race filled with pain. Was it worth the agony?

Ask the student recipients of the scholarship. They will tell you that Adam’s agony was worth it for them. And after the students reach the mission field, you might ask the people who are brought to the Lord through them if Adam’s agony was worth it. They will tell you it was worth eternal life to them.

The writer of Hebrews speaks of the race we are to run as Christians and puts it this way, “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 (12:1). I’d paraphrase the last phrase as, “run with agony, the ‘agon’ (race) marked out for us.” Sometimes it takes pain and agony to persevere. But is it worth it? The difference is life or death to the cloud of witnesses. Stick to it. Finish the race well.