This is the beginning of a recent cross country race. It’s one of my favorite views. The race gun goes off and the kids start running. The long horizontal line funnels down while they jockey for their spot. They try to find their pace. Don’t go out too fast and burn out, but don’t save too much so you have too much left over at the end.
Between 5K’s, half marathons, full marathons and cross country runs, I’ve lost count of how many I’ve watched or participated in. 50? Maybe more? It doesn’t matter. While the starting funnel is one of my favorites, the end is my other favorite. Not the finish line end, but the end of the pack. The kids who still are running even though many of the spectators have already moved on. They may have had to walk part of the course, they are battling an injury, struggling with the heat, or this is their pace. Regardless of their story, they are worthy of claps and cheers. They need someone to smile at them even if they have no idea who I am.
What’s the point? I know how they feel. I’m usually at the back of the pack too. I haven’t run in several years, but when I did, it was more of a slow jog. I have a friend who walks faster than I jog. At some point in our lives, we need someone to cheer us on. While it feels great to hear the loud cheers when you’re at the front of the race, the few people who cheer you on when you’re just hanging in there are important too. Odds are, either you know someone towards the back of the pack right now, or maybe it’s you. I hope you’re cheering someone on, if you’re able. It doesn’t take much – a smile, a quick text, a lunch visit, an unexpected package or treat… you never know when it might be just what that person needed to keep them going.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough. “Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” Hebrews 12:1