Sunday, April 26, 2015

Frisco Railroad Run 2015

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

From L-R(Jim McDermott, Luke Morrison, me, Mark Morrison, Gracie Morrison, Matthew Morrison, Jackie Morrison, Sandra Ortiz)

Saturday, March 25th, was set to be a beautiful day for a race as I was, along with several other members of TEAM413, ready to join others in pursuit of the finish line. With five distances offered, 8k, 13.1, 26.2, 50k or 50 miles, there was a race for everyone and we all chose our favorite (50 miles for me).  It was to take place on the Frisco Highline Trail described as a "scenic path through southwest Missouri's past and present." In 1948 Harry Truman rode the 36 mile track from Springfield to Boliver and back in a campaign to get him re-elected. The tracks are now gone (with a few markers showing where they once were if you look carefully) and are replaced with crushed gravel absolutely perfect to run on.

Since each distance was an out and back, requiring a turnaround, the 50 mile course allowed a runner to travel through the woods and pastures on the historic path for a full 25 miles. I was blessed to journey the first 25 miles with one of my best friends and planned to listen to music on the way back for the last 25. What a blessing it was to find that my music player was dead! It truly was a blessing, as I would have missed the sounds of nature all around me. And what a beautiful melody it was. Even so, with only 29 runners completing the race, the woods became a very solitary place very quickly after the turnaround as I was left alone with my thoughts and many miles yet to go.

From miles 15-35, the aid stations were five miles apart giving a runner long moments of solitude... moments when despair and anxiety can easily set in. Those moments when the mind, if left unguarded, can quickly turn to negative thoughts. But scripture tells us not to be anxious about anything, to pray about everything, and to give thanks as we present those prayers to God. He then will grant us incomprehensible peace that will protect our hearts and minds. Keeping that promise close, I continued on in silent devotion, step by step praying simple prayers. Lord, help me make it to the next water station. Thank you Jesus, please help me make it to the next water station and so on, all the while praising Him for the ability to keep moving forward.

Too often I can pray for the big things (Lord, just get me straight to the finish line) and miss the opportunity to bask in his presence along the journey. As I individually prayed for each mile to pass, I had at least 50 reasons to praise him and give him thanks. After nine hours of running, I was certainly thankful to see the finish line but I was even more grateful for each of the 50 reasons I could offer thanksgiving and praise along the way.  What are you grateful for today?

Heavenly Father, thank you for walking with us every day. Thank you for hearing the small prayers and the big ones Lord. Help us to remember that by praying for and giving thanks for the little things, we can strengthen and build our relationship with you. And thank you Lord for being there in the times when we are all alone and reminding us that you are there. And because of that, we need not be anxious about anything... even a 50 mile race.

Happy Running!!!

All I can do, Thank You - Mike's Chair
So thankful to have a God loving friend to share the journey. 

Talk about blessings. Luke Morrison paced me the last 5 miles as his family joined to celebrate God's grace by joining us as we crossed the finish line. Thank you Lord!
Blessed by these guys. 

Luke Morrison ran the half (plus 2 miles as he missed the turnaround) and came back hours later to help me get through the last 5 miles. I couldn't have been more thankful. God is truly good.