Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Olympic Marathon Runner Receives the Crown of Life

After writing yesterday about Olympic gold winner David Boudia, a friend sent me the story of born-again Olympic Marathon runner Ryan Hall.  Last year, after finishing as runner-up at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, he filled out a standard drug testing form and wrote “God” in the space where he was to write the name of his “coach.” When told he had to write in a “real” name, Ryan insisted “God is a ‘real’ person.”  A story about Ryan in the NY Times declared: A Runner’s Belief: God Is His Coach.

In the Olympic marathon on Sunday, Ryan Hall failed to finish the race due to an injured hamstring.  Despite his disappointing performance, Ryan made it clear on Twitter: “God is so good. My circumstances have the possibility of shifting my perception of His goodness but His goodness never changes.”

When I heard Ryan’s story, it occurred to me how much we love ‘happy endings.’ We want the David Boudia’s and Ryan Hall's to win. But the Spirit reminded me it isn’t about “winning” competitions, but about finishing well, about passing God’s tests.  And there is a reward for those who do. The Crown of Life is the prize for those who rejoice, trusting in the goodness of God when faced with disappointments. Ryan Hall is a winner. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test [or, finished his race], he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

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