Tuesday, September 25, 2007

last four miles

The plan, in theory would work. Marie would start the 10:30am worship service by leading an opening music set. Adam would preach. That would provide plenty of time for Kevin to lead an extended worship set in response to the message. To end the service I would do the announcements, collect the offering and pray.

At 4:00am. Kevin met me at my house. We then rode together to the amphitheater, to be shuttled to the starting line for the Rock-n-Roll ½ Marathon. The 13.1 miles would prove to be the easy part.

My group left the start line at about 7:05, Kevin’s left at about 7:30. Allotting approximately two hours to run, this would put us finishing somewhere around 9:30. This would make things interesting but still doable. Well, the short of it is this, we didn’t leave the ocean front until 10:30. Kristy and the kids (who spent the extra time practicing the use of their plastic clappers) were waiting in the wings to pick us up. Like robbers in a get away we raced back to our house.

Here was the preplanned sequence. 1. Kristy would drop us off at our house. 2. Shower and change. 3. Take Kevin’s jeep to the church. Steps one and two went as planned. (It was about 10:45 now.) As I was putting dress shoes on my blistered feet, step three hit a hurdle. Kevin realized the keys to his jeep were in the car we had taken to the amphitheater (it was still at the amphitheater!). My first thought was, we are going to have to run another four miles this morning and I really don’t want to. What are we going to do? Motorcycle! (Why are you laughing already?) I wobbled to the kitchen (my legs were tightening up by now) grabbed my key, handed Kevin a full faced helmet, instructed him to hold on to the back rest and not my waist, and off we went. Just let that image sink in....

Now, I don’t know what this looked like. Well actually I kind of do...two guys on a motorcycle, the passenger is six inches taller than the driver, with a full face helmet that probably doesn’t fit. Oh yes, this had to be quite the picture. When we drove into the church parking lot, not a soul was outside. God is a merciful god. I think the motorcycle was still rolling when Kevin jumped off and darted inside. It was about 11:05. Adam was still preaching. We made it, 17.1 miles!

I thought about how many people probably had no idea all that happened that morning before they saw us at church. And I thought about how little we sometimes know about what others go through on a given Sunday just to be there. We really only see the surface, we only see the last 50 steps, but there is so much more to our journeys than that, isn’t there?

“Lord, you see our goings and our comings. You see the beginning and the end. Lead us to discover more about each other than the last five steps. Help us to share more than that also so that we can be the authentic community you’ve called us to be as your church. In Christ’s name, amen.

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