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Run the Race

May 14, 2012

I had the pleasure of running the World Concern FREE THEM 5k race with my son again this year. This marks our 3rd year running and it’s come to be a nice Mother’s Day gift for me annually.

This year was a little different from our last 2 races. My son wanted to beat his time from last year, not just finish. So, we headed to the front of the pack and planned to run under 9 minute miles. I’ve          been running half marathons for the past few years and a 9 minute mile was about my own pace. I felt good about setting the pace for us both. We were trucking right along and as we hit the 4k mark, my son wanted to run faster. I nodded and allowed him to guide me. As we rounded the corner to the last ¼ mile, he began to sprint. As hard as I tried, I could not keep up with him. He finished strong with me coming in from behind.

As I came close to the finish, another runner said, “It’s pretty bad when you can’t keep up with your kids any longer.” That sat with me for the rest of the day. I struggled with those words. For me, it wasn’t sadness or disappointment I felt. Rather, it was joy! I had come to the point where my coaching wasn’t needed any longer. He needed me in years past to keep him on pace, to guide him. He put his trust in me to take him to the finish line. I realized as I saw him sprinting that it was now time for him to run his own race. I also realized as I saw him cross the finish line, that at some point, he will also need to put his trust in the Lord so that he may have his own faith journey. Our children need their earthly fathers and mothers to lead them, care for them, guide them, help to lay a faith foundation and to help them feel safe and secure. We run beside our children and we lend advice. Yet, at some point, we have to nod, allow them to run in front and to finish strong – with God at their side. Our children will build their own character and make their own choices. We pray that they will choose Christ and that they will place their trust in God and allow Christ to dwell in their hearts.

My son is still growing and maturing. He will still need me to coach him in other areas of his life. Yet as I watch him running ahead of me, I cannot help but picture him running ahead with the Lord, finishing strong with the same smile on his face. Go, baby, go!

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phillippians 4:13

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