Monday, October 4, 2010

Life's Marathon

I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures up on Saturday. I was so busy running Mr. J’s camera for him that I didn’t take any with my phone so that I could post them fast. But, as I predicted Mr. J, D4 and D5 all finished the race despite the trials and adversity they encountered the weeks before the race. I am so proud of them, and have been pondering all the lessons that can be drawn from this about our journey to celestial life. Even though the marathon had winners, most people were running with the intent of simply finishing. In other words, to finish is to win. That is a something we all need to remember. All we need to do to obtain celestial life is to finish. We don’t need to be first we just need to endure well. We don’t even need to be running the same race!

I watched and listened to my family as they talked about the camaraderie of the runners. Marathon runners cheer each other on. They encourage and help in any way they can all the other runners on the course. Sometimes we get caught up in the competitiveness of the world and forget that obtaining celestial life is not a competition. We don’t need to be the only one over the finish line. As a matter of fact, sometimes our job isn’t to run but to assist others to run. Repeatedly all three of my marathoners spoke about how amazing all the volunteers at the aid stations were and that without them they couldn’t have made it. This made me think about the fact that we can’t make it to the celestial kingdom unless we help others get there also, and that some of us aren't runners we are helpers.

Just before the finish line at this marathon, there were rows of bleachers set up along the course, and I was also struck with the hundreds of spectators on those bleachers who were cheering for every single runner. They weren’t just cheering for family or friends, but strangers. Like the volunteers, they were not running, but they were every bit as important to the race. Mr J, D4, and D5 all commented on how much the cheers of the crowd helped them as they came into those last miles so hot, so tired, so worn. But the cheering lifted and encouraged them to go on.

Knowing that, I began to feel bad because I was so busy trying to remember everything Mr J had told me about his camera and trying so hard to capture the excitement for posterity (I’m not a photographer!), that I didn't yell much. But afterward I thought that even though I didn’t yell as much as others, I was playing my own role by photographing. Each of us has a part to play in life. Some of us run. Some of us cheer. Some of us record the event. Some of us clean up afterward. And some of us start planning for next year's event. But each of us has a part to play. Eternal Life isn’t a competition. Eternal Life is obtained by finishing well in whatever role you are called upon to perform.


Candy said...

Well stated, Sherrie! It would have been wonderful to see you when you passed through our little part of the world, but it was great to heard D5's excitement about having her dad and sister run with her. Amazing!

Candy said...

Oops...typo--make that D4. Anyway, they're all amazing!

Wendi said...

My dad has run in at least 10 marathons, I think. And my husband ran in one a couple of years ago. I loved how the crowd would cheer for everyone like you mentioned. I'm amazed that people are actually able to finish. I can barely run across the street! But I appreciated the parallels you pointed out. Thanks for the reminders. :) And congratulations to your family members.