Monday, September 1, 2008

Seeing the finishing line:

Today my grand children Isaya, 8 years and Elijah, 7 years and my son Dan participated in the “US 10K Classic Race” for children in need. We had an amazing time. Our morning started at 4.30 am. as we had to get to the venue before 6.30 am when the roads were to close to the public for the race. Though we had to wait until 7.45 am. for our race (walking), the waiting period was very exciting as we watched different events set off; starting with Men’s ProAm Cycling, followed by the Women’s Cycling competition, then Inline Skate 10K National Champions tagged by Wheelchair (10K).

At long last our turn came. You could see the excitement all around us. The runners were next and we the walkers were to go last but that was ok. We had been preparing for this moment for two months. Starting with walking a mile per day, then two miles and for the last two weeks we managed to cover 4 miles. Every time we increased a mile we rewarded our efforts. Sometimes we were not so eager to practice but thanks be to the Holy Spirit who gives us power and encouragement.

When we took off we were all walking at the same pace but after only1 mile Elijah who is 7 started lagging behind. I advised Dan my son to go ahead with Isaya so that we don’t ruin his record. Both these boys are very sporty kids but they have different personalities. Isaya starts every game and every race to finish and to win and he never gives up or complains before the end. Elijah on the other hand loves to win but he wants it done quickly. As we walked the journey started to seem too burdensome to him and he wanted to be at the finishing line before we even reached halfway. Dan and Isaya continued at their pace and we lost sight of them. I held Elijah’s hand and encouraged him to walk on but most of the time he was pulling me backwards. It was not easy at all but I had to persevere. I could not leave him behind and neither could I let him give up. We had to finish the race because I wanted him to develop a champion’s spirit. A champion is committed, persistent and persevering. We kept on walking most of the time with his hand in mine. I kept on encouraging him and complementing his every step. When we finished the 3rd mile he started looking forward to the crown. He promised me that he would run the 6th mile to the finishing line.

After the 4th mile he said, “I may run I may not.” I could see that he was genuinely exausted and for that reason I did not push him. I just encouraged him to finish. We confessed a few scriptures, mainly “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am more than a conqueror” What is interesting is that his middle name is Muwanguzi which means champion or conqueror in Luganda so once in a while I would remind him of his name. The sign for mile 5 woke him up and his champion spirit returned. He wanted to run but I constrained him because I knew he would get too tired to finish before the end. When the finishing line was in sight with all the balloons waving at ius he could not help himself. He started begging; “Jajja,” meaning grandma, “please let us run. I want to finish. Where is daddy and Isaya?’ Then I let him loose and he ran to the end as his daddy was taking his pictures. They embraced each other as Elijah was shouting, “I finished, I finished.” And his brother was saying, “I won, I won.” And where was Jajja? Tagging behind, watching the champions!

God never gives up on us:
As narrated our race to my sister Cate in London, we got a few revelations.
• Just as I led Elijah through this race so does our Father through Word and the Holy Spirit lead us. He never gives up on us. If a mere woman of 64 would not let her grandson lose a race, how much more would our heavenly, loving Father stay with us and on us to make sure that we complete the race. His plans for our lives are good and perfect and He has done everything to make sure that we win. Looking back at my life I can literally recall several times when the Holy Spirit kept on nudging me and persuading me to continue. If it were not for Him I would not be here!
• Small consistent steps lead to great results. They are much better than gigantic isolated steps which result into nothing but failure. It is important to plan, prepare and train for whatever we are called to do. When we started out walking 1 mile it seemed insignificant but what an ending! These young boys are now planning to participate in various charity walks. They are not only enhancing their sportsmanship and health but developing a giving spirit as well; helping children in need all over the world.
• We must always have our focus on the finishing line. Jesus is our finishing line. He also is our starting line and in between. If we focus on Him, the Holy Spirit will lead us to Him and in Him.

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