This weekend was the seventh running of the Run for God Run at the Mill. It was a great day with runners coming from all over the country filling the country roads of northern Whitfield County. God put an exclamation point on the day when the last runner came down the hill toward the finish line. We always gather everyone to the finish line for the last finisher, but this race was special. It turned out that the last finishers, a group of three, contained a rather small-statured person in the middle. We had a three year-old girl finishing a 10K! Of course, that just made the cheers even louder as the adults backed off and let the little girl have the spotlight. It was awesome!
As I said, this was the seventh time we ran this particular race and we have hosted many other races in the last seven years, but the first Run for God happened way before Mitchell Hollis ever created the concept. Pastor Charlie Bridges talked about the first Run for God before the races began. John 20:1-2 says, ”Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Mary ran to the disciples.
The disciples responded in verses 3-9, “Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.”
They ran to the tomb, and John indicates that this may have been the first race! The first Run for God participants were Mary Magdalene, Peter and John. And then comes the greatest part of the story when they find out that He has risen and is alive. It changed their lives forever.
Today, we run or walk for various reasons. Some of us do it for weight control, while others like the feeling of being more fit. Some just want to be more healthy in general and others like the thrill of competition. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand that God gave us running for all of those reasons and much more.
But, our most important run of all is when we emulate Peter and John and run towards Jesus. The difference is that we know He is alive. We have the luxury of knowing what He has done and the hindsight of all of the Biblical writers. How about you? We’re all running in one way or another. The question is, are you running towards Jesus or away from Him? There’s no place like the safety and comfort of His arms! It will change your life forever.