Suzie Hewer is a world famous marathon runner.
Her usual running time? During her record-breaking marathon in April of 2013, her time was 5:05:23. Not very impressive for a famous marathon runner? Well, she’s not famous for her speed but for her knitting. That’s right. Suzie Hewer knits scarves while she runs – as a fund raiser for Alzheimer’s Disease research. Her goal with each marathon is to knit a scarf five feet long.
During her record-setting marathon in London, on 21 April 2013, she knitted a scarf six and one half feet long – a new record. But her efforts have inspired other runners to participate in the same fund raiser. The following year her record was broken by another marathon runner, David Babcock, who knitted a scarf twelve feet long! Together, they and their team have raised more than $2 million for Alzheimer’s research since they began in 2009.i
In a way you can say that, although Susie Hewer and David Babcock are running the same route as others, they are not running the same race. Most other runners work toward a personal or record-setting time. But Susie and David work for a benevolent cause – one that will probably adversely affect their running time, but one which helps relieve the pain of those who suffer.
Former Chicago Cubs manager, Leo Durocher, used to say that kindness has no place in competition. “Nice guys finish last,” was his creed. But I like better what a fellow chaplain once told me: “Nice guys don’t finish last; they’re just running a different race.”
All of us follow the same course of life, but not all of us run the same race. Some people’s goals extend only to the end of the race. But the race that people of faith run extends into eternity, because they run to leave the world a better place than when they found it. They run to help their fellow human beings and to please their Father in heaven.
In the Scripture, Saint Paul wrote, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil,” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10, New Living Translation). What goals are you pursuing in this race of life?
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to set and pursue goals that will benefit others, please You, and endure for all eternity. Amen.
i. Information from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-22059339