I can hardly believe that #5kMay2020 is finally upon us!
With the COVID-19 pandemic, I have felt like I am living between some strange mixture of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day and the Twilight Zone. My car has been getting three weeks to the gallon, and I have often found myself staring out the window wondering what life is like out there. Since 2020 is a leap year, I expected 29 days in February, but never dreamed of experiencing 68 days in March. That is what it has felt like, anyway…
All of this to say that the beginning of another “5k Every Day in the Month of May” feels like welcoming home an old friend. Hey! How you doin’?!
As I write this first blog of the month, I am feeling accomplished, having already completed my first 5k. I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed at the response to this year’s challenge.
In 2016, I ran a 5k every day in the month of May by myself. I hadn’t heard of anyone else doing it. For multiple reasons, it just seemed like the right thing for me to do. In 2017, I did it again, but invited others to join me. A little over a dozen people joined the challenge that year. In 2018, around 75 people signed up for the challenge, and last year that number more than doubled to nearly 200! I had no idea what to expect for 2020, but it is safe to say that I never dreamed we would have over 650 brave souls sign up for #5kMay2020.
That is awesome! Good for you!
I perused through the comments on the May 1 Check-In post and was blown away by the mosaic of different people, geography, ages, and inspiring stories. This is truly going to be an amazing journey together!
While I try to collect my thoughts and transform them into mostly coherent sentences stringed together on a screen, my beautiful bride and four oldest children are out in the neighborhood getting their daily miles for #5kMay2020. This has become quite the family event for us. I am seeing that others have embraced the challenge as families, friend groups, and more, as well. How cool is that? I love it.
My general goal with the daily blog post will be to accomplish two separate things. First, I will give a little information about my daily run. These are fun for me to personally look back on, and perhaps they will be encouraging and inspiring to you, as well. Second, I will pull out just one truth from the daily Bible reading, and attempt to succinctly state why that particular portion of scripture stood out to me on that particular day.
I would LOVE it if you would feel at liberty to do the same. In the comments below, feel free to tell us about your daily run and / or what stood out to you in the daily Bible reading.
Participation in the daily blog post is NOT a requirement for the challenge, but it could be a fun way to interact and enhance the overall experience. So… the choice is yours. Either way I will continue to log my miles and thoughts through this format.
If you are looking for more substance, you can go back through and read my blog posts from previous years (which ended up getting rather lengthy… sorry!) You can also tune in to the daily podcast. Future #5kMay2020 blog posts will not be as long as this first one.
Daily Run: I decided to kick off the challenge with a few bonus miles. My brother and I like to run together on Friday mornings when we are both in town. He is training for an upcoming 100 mile ultramarathon. I am just running (though I keep my #50by50 goal in the back of my mind at all times). This morning we ran 15 miles in the miserable Ohio sprinkling Spring rain. We were moving at an average pace of 7:53 per mile, so it took us just under 2 hours to complete the run. Aside from the wind and rain, it was a rather beautiful morning, and I always enjoy getting to run miles with my bro.
Daily Bible Reading:
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matthew 3:1-2, ESV)
This truly has been an unprecedented year. I mean that mostly in a bad way. Other than the current price of gas, which I don’t currently need, most of the unprecedented aspects of this unique year have been bad. Really bad, actually.
I wonder if that is how the people of Israel were feeling about the times in which they were living prior to John the Baptist coming on the scene. The Romans were ruling over them. The religious leaders were practically a brood of vipers. Not too long before John came to prepare the way for the true King, the mad King Herod had blatantly murdered all of the male children in Bethlehem two years old and under, with seemingly no negative repercussion. Things were bad then, too.
But they were about to get really good.
The goodness that was to come was proclaimed first by John the Baptist, then later by Jesus Himself, and then for generations by the followers of Jesus.
The goodness that was to come was the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
I have been running a 5k every day in the month of May for several years, now. I have really enjoyed it. I think it makes a practical difference in my life, and in the lives of so many others. But what if we could make so much more than just a practical difference? What if we could make an eternal difference?
There is a movement taking place right now called “Go2020”. I first heard about it while I was leading worship for an event in Kansas City, MO in November 2019. Go2020 is a global challenge to reach 1 billion people with the gospel in May 2020.
The goal is to mobilize 100 million believers to reach 1 Billion people with the Gospel in a single month… the month of May 2020. They plan to reach that goal by encouraging those 100 million believers across the world to do 3 key things… pray, care, and share.
How to pray: simply lift your heart and your voice to God on behalf of someone you know who doesn’t know Jesus. Ask that the LORD would reveal Himself to your friend, family member, co-worker, or acquaintance.
Look for ways to care: Care for the practical needs of those whom you are praying for. Jesus wants to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of those who don’t know Him.
Take the opportunity to share: Share the hope you have in Christ. Post a video of your testimony with #go2020 #hopebeyondfear. Text your testimony or share it over WhatsApp, IG, SnapChat, Tik Tok or Facebook. You can even download the Life in 6 Words app and use their awesome “audio story” feature.
The clearest presentation of the gospel that I have ever heard is a simple acrostic from the word itself.
G – GOD created us to be with Him
O – OUR sins separate us from God
S – SINS cannot be removed by good deeds
P – PAYING the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again
E – EVERYONE who trusts in Him alone has eternal life
L – LIFE with Jesus starts now and lasts forever!
That is the clear, concise, compelling, complete gospel. A message so simple that even a child could understand it, and in turn, put their faith in Christ for eternal salvation.
John the Baptist came on the scene during an unprecedented time in Israel’s history. He came with a message. Jesus both fulfilled the message and moved the message forward. The early followers of Jesus spread the message far and wide. Now it’s our turn. It’s our time.
What if these current unprecedented times, which have so far been really bad, are merely setting the stage for a massive movement of God? What if the world is merely being prepared for what God is about to do… through you! And through me.
A buddy of mine, the guy who created the gospel acrostic, has personally reached out and challenged me with a different kind of “every day in the month of May” challenge -to share the gospel every day in the month of May. I am accepting that challenge, and I am passing it on to you.
So what about you? If you have never put your faith in Jesus alone for salvation, what is keeping you from receiving His free gift of forgiveness, grace, and eternal salvation today? Today is the day for salvation! If you would choose to put your faith in Jesus today, I would love it if you would leave a comment below to let me know so I can welcome you to the family of God and pray for you.
If you have already put your faith in Jesus-awesome! That is truly the best decision you could ever make. But the second best decision, the one that should naturally follow the first, is to share that good news with others who may have never heard. Will you join me in being a part of the 100 million followers of Jesus who will reach 1 billion precious souls with the gospel in May 2020?
Together we can make an eternal impact and see God take unprecedented badness and turn it into unfathomable goodness.