Our fun in Oklahoma is done for now. Knowing we were heading out first thing in the morning (well, as “first thing” as you can be with five kids age 11 and under), I woke up to get my 5k in while everyone was still sleeping. The kids are wiped out from this trip, so they were sleeping like champions.
There was a massive storm rolling through the region yesterday and through the night. I woke up to thunder claps and lightning. Thankfully, the storm had largely moved past us by the time I started my run, so I simply ran in the opposite direction of the clouds. Brilliant!
We have been staying at a hotel located on the historic Route 66, so it only seemed right to get in a 5k on that historic road. 3.1 miles on “Main St. USA”. How fun is that?!
I had a pretty great run this morning. It was hot and humid and I cranked out my first mile in 7 minutes and 37 seconds. Not bad. I wondered if these sore legs could move a little faster. Second mile was 7 minutes and 15 seconds. I’ve got better. I kicked it in a little more and ran my third mile in 6 minutes and 38 seconds. That’s more like it! For good measure, I ran my last .1 at a 6 minutes and 8 seconds pace.
It was really good to get my legs moving again, but my left hamstring is super sore! I think I really did a number on it last Saturday at the Kentucky Derby Marathon. I am still bummed out about my performance there, but hopefully #5kMay2018 will help me get back into a position to train harder and run faster this fall when I once again attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon for 2019.
In today’s Bible reading (Matthew 7-9), I was most impressed by the story of the Centurion.
When [Jesus] had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. (Matthew 8:5-13, ESV)
Much could be said about this interaction between Jesus and the Centurion. It could be said that Jesus is amazing! He was able to miraculously heal the Centurion’s servant without even going to him or touching him. Wow! Cool!
It could also be said that the Centurion had remarkable faith! He boldly challenged Jesus with his faith that this miracle could be performed from a distance. That was the Centurion’s idea, after all.
More could be said, as well, but I want to just look at the surface for a moment. Sometimes the most amazing parts of Scripture are hidden in plain sight.
Notice who the Centurion wanted Jesus to heal. It was his servant. Not his daughter, not his son, not his mother… but his servant.
I am really challenged by this. What love this Centurion showed towards his servant! His servant was paralyzed and in pain. Instead of simply removing and replacing him (which I’m sure many powerful people of that day would have done), he sought his servant’s healing and restoration! He recognized a deep need in someone else, and he took that deep need to Jesus!
Are you challenged by this? I sure am!
Who are the people in our lives who need healing and restoration? Maybe they are not physically paralyzed, but perhaps paralyzed by fear, or by self-importance. Maybe they are not in need of physical restoration, but spiritual restoration. Maybe they do not know Jesus and are on a one-way road to eternal destruction.
Would we, like the Centurion in this story, be bold enough to take their plight to Jesus and ask him to heal and restore them?
I love that this Centurion cared enough for his servant to seek out and talk to Jesus about it. May we be willing to do the same for the people in our lives who are in need of the kind of healing and restoration that only Jesus can bring!
*5k Every Day in the Month of May 2018 is brought to you by Jeff Polen Music and Vertical Runner of Wooster. If you are joining the fun, don’t forget about the Facebookgroup, the Strava group, and the printable PDF.