Had a beautiful run this morning. The rain had just passed through and the air was clean and fresh. With Rachael's driver's ed. class forcing me to get up and out three mornings a week, my road running has improved.
Since I posted about finding that pacesetter, I keep coming back to that image. While I run, even though there is no one a head of me, I can imagine those feet and see the pace. I don't have to have a physical pacesetter, in my mind's eye, I can see them. It has improved my time. I don't start out too fast and use up all my energy. It helps me run more and walk less.
I passed a man on the street today. He looked like the "old coach" type of guy. He actually commented as I went by him, "Nice pace, real comfortable." I thought, "Yes, it is comfortable. I could run a long time at this pace..."
A little further on, I passed a woman running just a bit slower than I was. (yes, I can actually pass people...) I began to wonder if I might be a pacesetter for her. Not that I'm such a super-star runner. But I know how much I was helped by a passing runner.
It got me thinking. Isn't that how our journey with Christ is supposed to be. We find a pacesetter for us, Jesus and others, and we also become a pacesetter. Paul repeatedly talks about running the race in his letters to the churches. He set an example for us to pursue Christ at all costs. Paul new that he hadn't "arrived" to perfection, but that didn't stop him from urging them (and us) to imitate him.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead...
Philippians 3:13 NIV
...For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.
So I urge you to imitate me.
I Corinthians 1:15-16 NLT
Before my come-back to road running, I was content to run on my treadmill. It was enough to keep me going. I could mark off a few miles a week and not feel too guilty. How many years of my Christian life have I been content to run my own private race? It's enough for me to get by, but that's not what Jesus commanded as He left this planet. He said, "Go and make disciples of all nations..." If I'm not running my race as a pacesetter, who will come after me? How will I obey this command? I'm coming to the strong conviction that this journey is not to be lived in isolation. There is no "plan B" for reaching the world. I am a part of it and I have a role to play.
As I was coming back to my starting point, I passed the same lady again. This time as I passed her, she was walking. I'll never know if I was a pacesetter for her, but when I was finally at my car, I saw her a third time. But this time she continued past me - running.Do you have someone who can set the pace for you? Are you setting the pace for someone else. The truth is, people are watching us. What kind of pace will we set?