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  • Joseph W Tkach

Finish the race

At 91 years old, Harriet Thompson became the oldest runner to participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA. It was her 15th time running. In 7 hours and 7 minutes, she also became the fastest runner to take part in the 90-94 age bracket. But her story is even more remarkable.

Harriet is a cancer survivor and had completed radiation treatment on her legs just days before the big race. She wasn’t running just for her own pleasure. By participating in these marathons, Thompson helps raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

The Apostle Paul uses running imagery in his second letter to Timothy. Warning his young, faithful brother-in-the-Lord that hardships will come; he encouraged him to continue preaching, teaching and doing the work of an evangelist. Paul writes the following –

“For I am already poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

Paul knew that life wasn’t just a marathon that had to be endured to the end, but a race to do as much good directing people to Christ and his kingdom as possible. We don’t know how much time we’ve been given or how many trials we’ll face. But we do have responsibility for what we choose to do with the time we’ve been given.

We need to know that as believers, we do not run alone. We have the Word to guide us, and we have mentors to counsel us, just as Paul counseled Timothy. We also have the ultimate trainer in Jesus Christ. He is our strength and our joy in good times as well as in hardship and sorrow.

I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.

Image above of Harriette Thompson from Editorial images and copyright Getty Images. SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 01: 91 year old Marathon Participant Harriette Thompson participates in the Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & Half Marathon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on June 1, 2014 in San Diego, California. Harriette beat the world record for her age group and is the 2nd oldest marathon finisher. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series)

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