As anybody who knows me already knows, Chelsea and I are both avid runners. Running is how we met and how we grew our friendship. Running expresses some of our best qualities: dedication, perseverance, intensity, focus. Running is a way of life. In scripture, Paul used running as a metaphor for living a life for God in the face of adversity:
[1 Corinthians 9:24-25] Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self- control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.
For us, this and similar verses represent our desire to live an intentional life, focused on God, and have helped us to look at our wedding not as a goal, but as a starting line for all that lies ahead. This past Sunday we got to run the Cleveland Marathon together, and as much as it meant to me to finish my first, last year’s Detroit Marathon, nothing can compare to crossing the finish line holding the hand of the woman that I get to spend the rest of your life with. In fact, running is such a part of us, that on the morning of our wedding we are going to run the Freedom 5k with over a dozen of our friends.
I’ll end this with our favorite verse on running:
[Hebrews 12:1-2] Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.