Here is a story about a boy and his brother. A story about running a race for the love of a brother, rather than the love of winning. A story about champion boys, rightly named Kid Athletes of 2012 by Sports Illustrated because they race for the love of family, for the dignity of a little brother.
Connor and Cayden run a triumphant triathlon of love.
Love marked by sweat, pain and endurance.
Love with legs pumping and arms straining.
Quiet love as Connor Long simply states his resolve to race with his brother or not race at all.
It makes me look hard at the race I have run for years.
When I first found Jesus, I remember I was so relieved He was real, all I could do was keep thanking God. I would wake up in the morning thrilled and go to bed thrilled.
As I read the Bible, I discovered the most amazing stories and thrilled even more to know Him.
I learnt how to study, how to sing the worship songs.
I prayed all the time.
Jesus didn’t leave me crippled and crumpled by my choices as I longed for life.
He died to pull me in His arms, to bring me close, to have life with Him and rose so that I can.
Then I joined a church, got busy and started running solo. People just didn’t seem linger quietly with God. Everyone was rushing to do good. I felt I had to work hard not to be left behind.
I ran like a foolish jogger who insists on running ahead on an unknown trail trying to be first at the finish. Soon, I ended off course, sick, confused, lonely.
I blamed the Guide but just kept on singing and pretending I knew the trail.
Bruised by drive, I kept running hoping for a prize and ended up just broken mad.
I expect I am not the only ambitious runner who wanted to finish first. Running in the wrong direction reaped fatigue, burnout, despair. Too ashamed to admit being lost. I wore Jesus on my jersey and just kept running as if my life depended on it, like an hopeless my orphan lost in fog on a mountainside.
Many years passed. Sometimes I could hear My King’s voice on the mountain, and I would rest for awhile. Anxious to please and missing His Love, ambition forced me forward. I ran alone.
Mercifully, a preacher spoke a word into my dark night, bouncing off barren mountains and raining down gently on my parched lips.
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
Suddenly, I could see the Cross and I remembered.
I looked long and hard at the Finished Work and stopped running.
I knelt by the empty Tomb and dragged in deep long breaths of new.
I heard the Holy Spirit and He mercifully led me onto the trail once more.
When The Way, the Truth, the Life met me, He offered me water. I drank long deep drinks from the only well that could slay my desperate thirst. His Word sustained me.
Now, I run to find others, to tell them they are not alone. I run with my heart and my pen but I keep a close eye on my Guide. He leads.
The race has always been with Him, in Him, and through Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father.
It’s a family affair and we are beloved kids on this run.
Hebrews 12: 1-3 says:Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,2 looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Thank you Long family, for being a trophy of grace, for illustrating love-drenched racing in a world that worships trophies.
Thank you, Jesus, that you never leave or forsake even when we do.
What race are you running? Does it change hearts or lead to sorrow? Have you run down valleys and needed rescue? Did you know Jesus specializes in search and rescue? Tell us your story.