Monday, January 03, 2011


After writing the last post, I got on-line to watch the Biggest Loser. I haven't seen it in a long time (we don't have TV), so I was surprised to see that they now have contestants run a marathon at the end of the competition.

That wasn't the part that struck me, though.

As I was watching these people run the race, I saw how often they were tempted to quit. The first hill was a rather humbling experience that pushed them to the limit, and that was only in mile 2. In order to stay focused, the two guys ran together and encouraged each other every step of the way. As the race went on, and the miles dragged on, there were "surprise" visitors at various mile markers who ran with them for a while, giving them the support and encouragement they needed, just when they needed it most. At the end, when Ada just wanted to sit down and quit, her family joined her and kept her spirits up.

"Don't look to the finish line; just focus on the next few steps in front of you."
"You've worked so hard... you can do this! Don't stop!"
"Come on, girl, don't quit!"

And as she crossed the finish line, they stepped back just a few steps so she could cross alone, and then she fell into the arms of those who love her.

I found myself in tears -- not because it was inspirational (even though it was), but because I realized that the Bible talks about the saints being the "great cloud of witnesses," cheering us on as we run the race down here. I think I've read that so many times the words lost meaning for me, but SEEING it made all the difference in the world.

Too often I don't even remember that I'm IN the race. I'm wandering off to the side, getting distracted here and there, or just sitting down in defeat. Hopefully I'll remember what I just watched... that no one is looking at me with disgust. Instead, I'm surrounded by people who really do want me to finish this well... who are cheering me on, running with me, and whispering words of encouragement.

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