When R and I signed up for Run to Build, we had our apprehensions. I felt that the days leading up to the race were sooo unbearably hot, and both she and I felt we lacked practice to see it through. The eve of the race, a friend needed some help, and the old me would have just said, “Sorry, but I have something important to do tomorrow.” but because I took the previous Sunday’s sermon to heart – (not boasting about myself here but how the Lord is changing me) treat others as you would like to be treated -I felt supernatural prodding to stay up later than planned to help her out. You have to understand that this was very difficult for the old me to have done because the race’s call time was really early in the morning, and I made a commitment to myself since August 2010 to jealously guard my sleeping hours to allow my body to heal.
I prayed for my friend and prayed to God to help her the way she needed to be helped at thAt partcular moment and just left the results up to Him. I found I was able to do what I could and there weren’t any anxieties about lost sleep or stamina in the process of allowing myself to be inconvenienced.
The following day, I woke up without feeling the lack of sleep. I got to the meeting place on time and noticed that for the first time in weeks, it was cloudy! No sun, no heat, just the vibe of a great day ahead.
At gunfire, R and I began our pace. She had gone on a previous race and told me that the sheer number of participants would thwart any fast starts, so there was no pressure. I noticed though, that she picked an uber slow, jog style pace. I bit my lip, telling myself that I promised that we would wait for each other, although we did try to overtake others who were also taking their time. I would ask her from time to time if she was ok to go on. She was.
Even though I didn’t like the pace she picked, I discovered that after the first kilometer, it was the perfect one for both of us. We were sufficiently warmed up and by the second kilometer, we had hit the zone. We were soon catching up to others who had started strong but were beginning to lose steam, and yet we knew that we had enough energy left to finish without stopping. (we did pause at the water station)
Di baleng sumuka, wag lang susuko ! -so went one of the organizer’s megaphones.
Little kids, big kids, people of all shapes and sizes were encouraging sights to see.? I even saw an elderly missionary couple, joining just to walk and finish. The race wasn’t an end in itself, after all, but to help
build a new church building in c5.
And then, finally, the finish line. With the end within sight, we decided to increase our speed and finish with flair. Yeah. We finished just under 27 minutes. Our tortoise-y pace notwithstanding. No rain, no injuries, walang sumuka, walang sumuko.
We were super pumped up and stayed to see the top finishers awarded. Well, yeah okay, we were secretly hoping we would win raffle prizes. We found out that the winners ran one category in less than nine minutes. We looked at each other and jokingly said we’d go for a greater distance race once our times improved to 9 minutes. He he.
I later told a Dgroup member about the experience – that in practice, I could never do that distance by myself without stopping several times for water or wanting to stop, and yet, with the presence of a race buddy, I finished well. She wasn’t surprised. It isn’t about racing, she said. The Christian run is more akin to a marathon. The prize, incorruptible. Running with someone is all the more needed to foster accountability, encouragement, and shared frustrations and triumphs. We were made for relationships.
Ain’t that the truth.
Pastor Peter Tan-Chi says, don’t be a lone ranger. Be accountable to someone in your Christian run. Finish well.