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One time many years ago (maybe 1993) I took Holly and Shane and went to South Bend, IN, to run the Sunburst marathon. She had a friend from college who lived there and we went to visit them as well. The Sunburst marathon was run in June and on a Saturday. Then we had to drive back to southern IL, which was like 400 miles away. I think there 400 or 500 in the marathon. By the time I got to about mile 18 I wasn’t feeling very good. In fact, I was hurting more than normal. Hips or something. I stopped at the mile 18 marker and asked, “Where’s the pickup vehicle?” They laughed at me like they didn’t know what I was talking about.

Normally, you can check with the person at the mile markers and if you need to drop out of the race they will contact someone in a pickup vehicle, which is generally a van.

Since they didn’t act like they knew what I was talking about I continued to run and I think I stopped at the 20-mile marker and asked again. Still, I got no satisfaction. Finally, I stopped at the 22-mile marker and asked again. I really wanted to drop out of that race because of the way I was feeling. Finally, I decided that if I was going to get home I was going to have to finish that race. And I did. And the amazing thing is this: I got third in my age bracket and that’s the only time I ever got a third place in a marathon. BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IF I HAD QUIT THE RACE

Did you hear what I said? I decided that if I was going to get home I was going to have to finish that race. Hmm, do you suppose that could apply to the Christian life and going home to heaven? IF I’M GOING TO GET HOME I HAVE TO FINISH THIS RACE Crowns, medals, etc. are not given to those who start the race but to those who finish the race.

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