A couple of weeks ago Mike and I watched an inspiring film based on a true story called “Brittany Runs a Marathon” about a 28 year old woman living in New York City. Employed as a greeter at an off-Broadway theater, Brittany is an overweight, hard partier who abuses Adderall. When she visits a doctor to get the prescription renewed the doctor gives her the tough news. She need to get her life in order, eat healthier, loose weight and begin to exercise. Unable to afford a gym membership she decides to try running and with great determination manages to run the length of one block! It’s a beginning.
Brittany’s transformation is slow with many setbacks, but gradually she adopts a running habit, changes her eating patterns, gathers a group of supportive friends around her to replace her party pals and eventually even restarts her advertising career. And… she decides to run the New York City Marathon (26.2 miles.) It’s a sad moment in the film when she is only a few miles from the finish, and she gets a cramp. She falls and someone helps her to her feet but she is defeated. In desperation she scans the crowd and finds her friends who cheer her on convinced she can finish. She rallies and continues to run.
I don’t know much about running a marathon, having never been a runner, but I’m told that it is common for a runner to get to about the 22 mile marker and falter. The last few miles are the most difficult. This surely makes sense to me as we find ourselves nearing what looks to be the end of this marathon of a pandemic and are struggling to finish the race well.
This morning on the news I heard the broadcast say in jest, “What is it that see on the horizon? Is it possible I see a glimmer of hope?” I think we are all seeing a glimmer of hope these days that the pandemic is coming to an end, but we are not at the finish line yet. So maybe it shouldn’t surprise us if these last few miles are hard. I will say that I am finding these last few months challenging. I am tired of not being with my family. I’m tired of trying to do my job in all of these new ways that are ok for a while, but wearing over the long haul. I’m tired of not being able to gather in church, or wander through my favorite stores or eat out at a restaurant. I’m tired of masks. I know it’s getting to me because I’m grumpy! I’ll bet some of you can say the same thing.
So it’s good that there’s a glimmer of hope. I see it! Knowing I will soon be fully vaccinated is a hopeful thing too. The day is coming for me, but I know for some of you there is still a frustrating wait! But my greatest source of hope comes in a quiet moment of prayer. This morning I asked for strength and renewal and the Lord did not disappoint.
those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. Is. 40: 31
We are in the final miles of what has been a very long marathon. As we near the finish, we need to stay vigilant both in our mitigation practices with this virus and in prayer so we may have the strength to finish well.
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