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Just keep plodding along...Midweek Musing for 2-2-2022

Are you familiar with the name Bill Broadhurst? I would be surprised if you were. However, back in the early 1980's, he committed himself to entering and completing a 10000-meter road race. Broadhurst would run 10k or 6.2 miles.

Part of the reason he had decided to do this was because one of his idols - the Olympic, New York City, and Boston marathon champion Bill Rodgers would be competing. Broadhurst desperately wanted to compete in and complete the race with his running hero.

What made his decision to compete in the 10,000-meter challenge was the fact that years earlier Broadhurst had suffered a serious brain aneurysm which left him nearly paralyzed on the left side of his body.

Even though he had been through surgical interventions and therapy - walking - let alone running - were chores.

Thus, when the starters pistol fired in the early morning hours signifying the start of the race Broadchurch immediately fell behind. Every step was a chore as his bad leg plopped down again and again awkwardly and pain coursed up from his ankle to his hip and low back.

Soon all the other runners were out of site and in less than 30 minutes he heard the cheers and heard the announcer on the PA speaker in the distance declare (to no one’s surprise) that Bill Rodgers, the world class distance runner, had easily won the race.

Even though the race was over Broadhurst plodded along. And about 2 and a half hours later Broadhurst came upon where the finish line had been. But by then the finish line and barricade and spectator bleachers were all gone. All that really remained were the orange trash bags waiting for the sanitation department to come by and take them to the landfill.

In fact, along the way a number of folks had informed Broadhurst that the race was long over and that someone else had won. They encouraged him to quit – to give just up – even offering him a ride back to his car!

Broadchurch, however, was determined to finish the race. He wanted to be able to say he finished the race that his hero Rodgers competed in-even if he was last. And even if he were the only one to know of his accomplishment.

As Broadchurch came over the last rise that would lead to where the finish line would have been he was shocked to see a group of about thirty people there waiting. When they saw him, a mighty cheer erupted! That group then stepped off the sidewalk and lined the street. They hoisted a banner and strung a finish line ribbon across the road. And their cheers if only for a few moments he later said took away his pain and carried him across the finish line.

And as he crossed the finish line would be, Bill Rodgers stepped out from an alley and as Bill Broadhurst stumbled across the finish line. Broadhurst running icon, Bill Rodgers took off the winner’s medal from around his own neck and placed it around the neck of Broadhurst, and he said, "you a winner because you never quit".

Brothers and sisters don’t quit, keep running.

Jesus Christ the hero of our faith is at the finish line waiting to give YOU the victor’s crown of life. And a great cloud of witnesses - those saints who have gone before us are cheering you and I on - even now!

In Roman’s 12 we read, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.”

Friends – Do not quit. Do not grow weary. Run the race that has been placed before you – the race that will help to bring justice and mercy and grace and hope and peace and goodness and love to a world who desperately needs to experience such gifts.

In the name of God who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

Alleluia Amen

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