On many, many occasions last year I woke up at 4am to meet up with a group of guys who run in Wooster, OH at 5am. We would typically run 10 miles (though the occasional 15 or 20 was not out of the question), and we would do this several days per week. We did this for months.
It was slightly brutal waking up that early just to run, but it was also kind of wonderful to get 10 miles under your feet first thing in the morning with the whole rest of the day ahead of you. During this last session of training for my spring marathon, the group became less consistent. I had my own plan that I felt I needed to work through (tempo runs, hill repeats, track workouts, etc), so the 5am group run didn’t work very well for me.
I have been looking forward to getting back into the 5am routine. Today was the first step to that end. I met the whole group this morning for a 10 mile run. The “group” this morning consisted of myself and a fellow #5kMay2018 participant, Jeremy Pope (“Poper”). Poper is a great guy and a really good runner. He recently ran the Cleveland Marathon in 2 hours and 52 minutes, and that was not even his PR! Since my marathon goal is sub 3 hours, I need to be sure to log as many miles with “the fast guys” as I can!
Today we ran a total of 10.2 miles in 1 hour, 23 minutes, and 47 seconds. Our average pace was a nice, steady 8:09 per mile. It was just a nice run and a good conversation. Poper will actually be the guy who prints our #5kMay2018 finisher shirts!
For good measure, I stopped by Starbucks on my way home. Yes, I was interested in a coffee, but I was also interested in blessing my bride with a morning cup of goodness. We spend “Bible Time” as a family around our breakfast table from 7:45am to 8:15am, and for some reason that “Bible Time” is just a little bit better with Starbucks…
I read John 4:2-4 this morning and noticed an interesting wording in the beginning of John 4.
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. (John 4:1–3, ESV)
Why did this passage stick out to me? To be honest, it is really only two words that stuck out, and they are not even placed next to each other. Any guesses as to what those two words are?
I’ll tell you.
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. (John 4:1–3, ESV, emphasis mine)
What was Jesus doing while He was on the earth? He was making disciples. What did Jesus command us to do as He was ascending back to heaven? Make disciples.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20, ESV, emphasis mine)
I love that Jesus modeled for us the things that He commands us to do!
I think this #5kMay2018 challenge would be weird if I just sat on the couch and told a bunch of people, “Hey, why don’t you go out and run or walk at least a 5k every day for the entire month of May.” Don’t you think that would be weird?!
I actually completed this challenge on my own in 2016. Then I invited others to join me in 2017. This year we had 113 people officially sign up to be a part of #5kMay2018 (and there may be others doing it who just didn’t sign up).
That is incredible!
Just imagine what the world would look like if we saw this same kind of growth in making disciples… This year I will make a disciple. Then next year I will invite those disciples to make disciples, and the year after that they can invite their disciples to make disciples.
Do you know what that scenario most closely resembles?
It actually resembles exactly what Jesus wants the church to be doing.
And the truly beautiful part is that we are not doing it alone. As we go and make disciples, as He Himself did and as He Himself commands us to do, we can rest in His promise that He will be with us always, to the end of the age.
*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 Facebook group, the Strava group, and the printable PDF.