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Run Your Race – Part 2

Run Your Race –Part 2

 

Earlier, this “Run Your Race” blog series began with a short look at Eric Liddell and his amazing story at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. You can read Run Your Race – Part 1 on this site.

A compelling story… but times have changed- right?

Decades may separate them, but there is a current marathon superstar that is setting his own pace by following God and giving Him all the glory. His name is Ryan Hall.

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1 NIV

Ryan Hall – a Stanford graduate who took the marathon world by storm, bursting on to the scene by running a 2:04:58 race at the prestigious Boston Marathon, the fastest marathon time ever by an American.

Ryan Hall – a man focused on his love for Jesus and the platform he has been given to proclaim God’s glory. Ryan lists God as his coach when completing race applications or drug screenings at major events, eliciting raised eyebrows from competitors and fans alike. “You have to list the name of a real person” a race official said. “He is a real person” Hall responded.

Ryan Hall – married to his college sweetheart who was a national cross country champion. As a couple, they train together, praise God together and live within the faith community of Bethel Church in Redding, California.  A man committed to God, his family and his passion to run… and run fast.

A friend of Hall’s has compared his pursuit to that of Eric Liddell, an amazing story featured in the award winning movie “Chariots of Fire”. Of Hall, the friend noted, “It’s fulfilling, even exhilarating to feel God’s pleasure in our willingness to pursue and occasionally fulfill the dreams He puts into our hearts and the purposes He built into us. Cooperating with that purpose and those dreams is the greatest fulfillment that one could experience.”

Ryan Hall has chosen a path that is lonely in many respects. Training for and running marathons at a 4:43 per mile pace is lonely, taxing on the body and emotionally draining.  Most fellow competitors brush his actions and statements off as strange and weird. Fans of all ages just want him to win races, set records and beat the East African athletes that have come to dominate the sport – leave the “God” stuff at home.

But Ryan Hall knows that he has a cloud of witnesses cheering him on as he runs for God’s glory. Through the pain and disappointment of injuries and missing the New York Marathon in October of 2013, he is running the race set before him with perseverance, eyes focused on his “Coach”. As his friend noted, Hall continues to feel God’s pleasure in running and is focused on being the best marathoner ever. That dream may just one day be fulfilled because God can do immeasurably more than we can ever ask or imagine,  according to His power that is at work within Hall.

What about you? Do you believe that? What race are you running with perseverance, knowing that God can and will do more than you can ever imagine to use you and your situation.. your talent… your purpose, for His glory?

Fulfill your purpose. Run your race. Feel His pleasure.

 

 

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