A few years ago, my Pastor’s son, a Pastor himself, Matthew Barnett, participated in a World Marathon where you had to run 7 races in 7 days across 7 continents – yeah, it was that hard! He was doing this to raise money for his wonderful organization in Los Angeles called the Dream Center. We were all cheering him on via social media and he would come on Facebook and do these lives as he was running. It was incredible.
Around the 4th race, his knee popped and gave out on him. And still he finished the race. Even though he was in pain, even though it took him hours more to finish, he still went and ran the 5th, 6th and 7th races. Strangers who were inspired by his dedication would come and walk with Matthew as he tried to brush aside the pain and just keep moving.
I remember a line he said from one of his Facebook lives as he walked/ran in pain but didn’t quit. He said something like, “I’m just learning how to run in a new way.” Not like the way he was trained. Not the way he knew to run. But a new way – one that would make it possible to keep going and finish the race.
I had a dream last night that I was trying to finish a race but I couldn’t. But I said to myself in this dream, “But I know Pastor Matthew could finish it and it encourages me. I will keep going.”
I woke up this morning with a start and ran downstairs so I could type these words out in this post and remember… See we are in a whole new way of life here. We are running a marathon we didn’t expect (pandemic) and also one that we have needed to run and we can’t ignore anymore (racism). It is hard. It is painful. We don’t know when it will end. But we need to learn to run in a new way. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we can’t finish. Just because it’s painful doesn’t mean we can’t overcome it. There are generations that have gone before us that have been faced with injustice and tribulations – they fought and kept going. We can too. It will be different from what we knew but THAT IS OKAY. History will look back and see the way we fought racism and injustice. They will see the way we protected and persevered from a pandemic. They will be inspired by what we do today for their own tribulations.
We are in a really rough race friend. There is no question about it. But don’t stop. Don’t quit. Just keep running in a new way.
**You can read more about Pastor Matthew’s race HERE. It’s truly inspiring!**