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Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Word for the Day

Today's Word: Marathon

            The horrible events in Boston have brought the word “marathon” to everyone’s mind.  For just a moment, let’s think about a marathon, a race of over 26 miles. 

            Perhaps you are a runner and have even run a marathon, or half-marathon or 10k race.  But have you watched a marathon live?  I have.

            My two oldest boys and only daughter-in-law, Emily, run marathons.  Emily hopes to run a marathon in every state in the union and she has a good start.  I went to watch them when they ran the Fargo Marathon last year.

            Of course, you don’t watch a marathon, not live anyway.  My wife, Betty, and I drove to about the mid-point of the marathon course and found some parking near a hospital.  After walking our own little mini-marathon to a good viewing spot, we gave couple of waves and cheers to our marathoners and then walked back to our car.  An hour later we cheered again when our family crossed the finish line. 

            In a race that is 26.2 miles long, we saw the runners for a few hundred feet.  In an event that takes something like three hours, we watched for a minute or two.  It was a single snapshot from a movie, a short glimpse of a longer event.

            Kind of like life, I thought. 

            On our walls are pictures of events.  But, like the marathon, those events are part of a larger picture.  The birth of my grandson is just one stop on a journey which stretched back to when his parents married, and even to when they met.  And the journey heads forward into an adventure yet unknown. 

            This is so important to remember during the less-positive events of life.  In the midst of disaster, or when we face death, or during illness we must remember the marathon.  These things are the focus of life right now, but life is more than just those.  A disaster comes and does damage, but the marathon of life has been proceeding for long before and will go long after. 

            The “pictures” we experience of life, though dramatic, are not the whole story.  Neither the wonderful event or the terrible one can erase what has happened before or prevent meaningful life in the days to come.   That moment is only a glimpse, a peek, a piece of the whole. 

            When we “watched” the marathon, I walked a ways along the course against the flow.  A couple of blocks down I came upon my son and daughter-in-law – walking.  My son said, “We really were running just a minute ago.”  I’m sure they were, and would be again.

            Don’t let the moment in time be the only thing you see.  If it is a good moment, treasure it, remember it and build upon it.  If it is a tough moment, remember all that came before and what will come afterward.  The moment may hurt, and the hurt may last, but there’s more to a marathon than one picture. 

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