Last week I participated in my first official 5K. The "Running of the Camels" 5K. Of course, for me, it was more like the "Powerwalking of the Camels".
We had a team of friends, colleagues, professors, etc. that banded together for the 8 a.m. stroll around campus. We walked. We jogged. We joked. We talked. We laughed. We may have complained a time or two. We watched as students lapped us and finished in less than half the time it took us. But we pressed on.
It was worth it for the camaraderie. To say that I had done a 5k. To be a part of a tradition. To get a free t-shirt. But there is one moment that really left an impression in my mind and heart...
We reached Campbell's track, and I thought that was it. I could see the finished line.
And then someone announced that we just had to go around the track once. Seriously. Oy. So Dr. Williams and I preceded to jog and pant our way around the track.
Then I got one last burst of motivation. The finish line was in sight. And I literally got chills as a group of people I knew and some I didn't know stood around the last leg and the finish line and cheered me on. Cheered me home. Cheered me to the land of rest and water and fresh fruit. It was finished. Mission accomplished.
As I crossed the finished line, people cheering and a feeling of accomplishment settling in my blissfully exhausted bones, I thought of heaven. And I thought of one of my favorite passages of scripture.
And Jesus is there.
You lock eyes with Him, and no weight or heaviness or sweat or breathlessness can slow you down. He's cheering you on. You have a purpose. You have a mission. You can get rid of the burden and run with joy.