So All May Hear

image“Are you excited?”

That is the question everyone keeps asking me.

“Not really.  I just want it over with.” I truthfully reply.

No, I’m not getting married.  That took place almost sixteen years ago and no we’re not having another kid.  Been there, done that…four times.  We’re all good on that front.  So what is the subject behind this burning curiosity as to the state of my excitement? Sunday May 25th I will run my first marathon, and “no” I’m honestly not excited about it.

I’m tired.  I feel like crap.  I’ve lost most of the past month to injury and illness. I’ve logged hundreds of miles running over the past four months in training for this.  Every Saturday has been devoted to my weekly “long run.”    I want my Saturdays back.  I want to revel in the act of doing of absolutely nothing! I just want it done.

You may be asking, “If that’s how you feel why bother to run?”

The answer is simple, “So all may hear.”

I’ve been a preacher for over 15 years.  Over those years I’ve been blessed to be able to preach the gospel to thousands of people throughout the world.  One thing I’ve learned; I can’t reach them all.  I can’t do it alone.

There is a kid named Alex.  He’s 19 and preparing to give up a year of his life to go around the world and preach to Muslims.  He’s laying down his life so others can hear.

There is another kid named Isaiah; also 19.  Rather than seek greener pastures of bigger and better he is answering the call of God by serving in his home church. He’s laying down his life so that others may hear.

I call them kids because I’m old enough to be their dad.  Truth is they are men; godly men and I love them both.  They decided to run this marathon as a platform to preach the gospel and as a tool to raise money for Alex’s trip.  I decided to run with them because their heart for Christ and passion for the lost is infectious.  They inspire me and we can accomplish more together than we can alone.

Both of these men carry a burden.  It’s the burden of lost souls.  It’s not convenient.  It’s not comfortable.  Their heart groans for the lost and they are doing what they can to make sure none are lost due to the lack of hearing.  Whether it is half way around the world or in our own back yard, people need to hear.  They need to be introduced to Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul recognized this need and declared,

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written; How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” Romans 10:14-15

This marathon isn’t about me.  I’m doing it for them.  I’m doing it for the people who will hear the gospel through them.  Am I excited about running 26.2 miles?  No.  But, I am excited that people will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And so I run…so all may hear.



My shins hurt.  Ache to be precise.  With every step I take they tell me how much they despise me and my tendency to act upon a whim.

It started last July.  I was 39, weighed 205 pounds and felt like crap.  As I sat on my porch swing like a bloated slug I said, “I gotta do something.”  Then on a whim I just got up and decided I was going to run a mile.  I can’t tell you for certain how long it took me to run that mile because I’m pretty sure the space time continuum came to a screeching halt out of pure shock!  All I know for certain is that when everything stopped jiggling and oxygen again returned to my brain restoring conscious thought, I was alive.  No thanks to my whim!

The truth is, what I thought was just a whim last July was actually a catalyst to a transformation.   After recovering from my 1 mile near death experience a few days later I said, “I wonder if I could do two miles?”  I found out I could.  I went on to run my first 5K, then another, then a 6 mile obstacle race through the woods all while carrying an 8 pound sledge hammer!  Ya, that’s me and my hammer on the right…mud soaked and wearing man tights!  By the beginning of October I lost over 20 pounds in under 10 weeks.  Today my shins hurt because I’m training for a marathon.  A race I agreed to run with a friend…on a whim.

Here is the thing.  Whims have the power to kill you; like bringing home a new Ford F150 King Ranch truck without discussing it with your spouse!  A cautionary tale for another day.  But, whims also have the uncanny ability to spur us on to accomplish great things!  Those moments that spring forth from a random “what if” or an “I wonder” like Jonathan to his armor barer in 1 Samuel 14:1-15.  A seemingly random whim of “Hey, what if we went over to the garrison of those uncircumcised dudes?” ended in a slaughter of their national enemies!

Truth be told, some “whims” are actually the Holy Spirit prompting us to step out in faith and make a change.  What about you?  What whim is the Holy Spirit actually spurring you to act on and allow Him to work through?  Trust me…it’s not the King Ranch!!!!