Agape

Just wanted to share an entry I posted on my multiply account last May 8, 2011.

Last Saturday, I partly-ran and partly-walked what seemed to be the longest 2 miles of my life. With my occasional running, err, make that walking around the UP acad oval as my only credential, I decided to join the Run to Build 3k Agape Run with my sister.

I came there unprepared. The only semblance of getting ready I did was purchasing my running shoes the night before. Assembly time was at 5:30 am and I woke up a little after 5 (bummer). I was excited, I kid you not, but my body showed some reluctance because of the work week that was.

My sister and I got there with our eyes still droopy but we grew enthusiastic at the sight of the start line. While I was determined to finish the race, my sister was up to something else. She said she wanted to finish 5th at the least. I had no doubt that she could but I had a huge doubt that I could. It was an Agape run and we’re supposed to finish together.

It was a little past six and then, gun start. My sister and I started strong (yes, i mean it). There were points when we would start walking to catch our breath and rest a bit  but we would go back running immediately.

1km, 2km and we’re both doing well – until I felt my tummy ache. It’s that kind of pain that starts at one portion of your tummy then spreads out, like premenstrual pain (and it wasn’t pre-period pain). I stopped running and walked with hopes of the pain going away soon. My sister slowed down and walked with me. She asked me how I was and told me that I probably was not breathing properly. She was telling me to inhale deeply through my nose then exhale through my mouth. She told me not to rush. She said we’d get back running when I already feel okay.

A lot of other runners have already gone past us. We’ve already been spending so much time walking and the pain was still there and was getting extreme. I already wanted to stop and quit but my sister kept on encouraging me not to, kept telling me that the pain would go away soon. I was starting to get really exhausted. It was just really hard to get back running. I was also getting frustrated. I wanted to finish and on top of that, I wanted my sister to finish with the best time possible. But just as much as my situation’s hindering me to get back running, it was also keeping her. It’s an Agape Run and we’re supposed to finish together but I knew I already had to let her off. So I told her, “Go! Run!” and then off she went. She probably just needed to hear that from me. She was out of my sight in a few minutes.

I continued walking – eager to finish, eager to meet with my sister at the end of the line. I started running at the sight of the finish line and struggled to it. Around 5 minutes after my sister finished her race, I also finished mine. Thank You Lord! It was such a rewarding feeling and it was only by His grace that I did.

This run is, so far, the best moment I had with my sister. And this run definitely stand as my week’s highlight.

I have heard life being compared to a race so many times already. In the bible, races are also used as illustrations for this and experiencing an actual one breathed more sense to it.

I started strong in the race. This took me to the moment when I got saved. I was elated, and felt blessed to the brim. The discovery and acceptance of God’s love placed so much confidence in me that no matter what life might throw at me, I know I would be able to endure it by God’s grace.

In the middle of the run, there was pain. This reminded of what Pastor Dan once said; that it is mid-race when it’s most challenging and most tempting to quit. It is at this point when we should most persevere, keep our faith and stay strong.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

This also the point where we are to encourage each other. (Thank God for my sister!) Another precious mid-run insight I had was that, we have our own races, we have our own paces. As much as we want someone close to run with us, the fact is they have their own race to finish and we just have to let them off and just look forward to meeting them at the end of the line.

And we’ll never know, some faces at the end of the line might even come as a bonus.

Finishing was rewarding. I heard one pastor say that the way we view death determines how we live our life. If we see death, our finish line as a wonderful thing, as a reward, as that precious moment when we would finally be with our Father; then we would live and continue in faith, we would run with perseverance until we get to the end.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:7-8

And this for me was what the Agape Run was all about. It was about Christ’s love, the highest form of love, that has enabled me to start, enables me to continue and will enable me to finish my race.

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