Running a marathon, especially the Disney Marathon, which I did today – January 8, 2017 – is similar to reading through the Bible in a year.

  1. The start is very exciting. This year it was very cold and windy down here in Florida. Tens of thousands of runners gathered in their respective corrals. We had loud music and bright lights at 4:00am, then the Start Spangled Banner, and then a fireworks show for the start of each corral. The monumental goal to read the entire Bible, or a part of it, for the coming year starts for many of us in a big way like this. We’re finally doing it. Here we go!
  2. For us in the 21st century, there are all kinds of resources to help us cross the finish line, whether we’re running marathons or reading Bibles. Disney was voted one of the best – if not the best – marathon for first time marathoners. They have Powerade and water stations at every mile; several food stations with bananas, gels, and, near the end, chocolate; thousands of porta-potties; fully staffed medical tents at nearly every 2-3 mile marker; medics with full gear and bicycles riding with the runners; police everywhere; volunteers everywhere; and multiple special cheering sections where people seem to be trained to deliver the best cheers to even the scraggliest, foot-dragging-est runners. They also had countless stops where you could get in line to have your picture taken with a Disney character in any one of all four parks that we ran through. Cinderella waved at us from her castle. A guy dressed up as a toy green Army soldier yelled at us to get up the hill. On and on the support went. It’s the same for us wanting to read Scripture in 2017. We have the Disney Marathon equivalent of resources. I’ve learned about a bunch of new ones just doing this blog.
  3. As you get to the middle of the marathon, there is a great temptation to quit. A blister breaks on your foot. Your leg cramps up. Your energy for “keeping on” has not kept up with you. Bible reading sometimes requires just pushing through too. One of my adages for life, I think, applies as well to marathons and reading through the Bible in a year… “When times are toughest, you have only two states of being to choose from: 1) Quitting or 2) Feeling Like Quitting. If you quit, you don’t feel like quitting anymore. It’s over. If you feel like quitting, well, that’s called perseverance. It means you haven’t quit yet. Whenever you feel like quitting, it is a sign for you to keep going. Don’t quit now!”
  4. The finish line is a beautiful thing, but, as you cross it, you think of all the race behind you. Just like life; just like Bible-reading. Now, the whole thing was worth running. You did it. Will you do it again? Most do!

I hope you’re enjoying whatever marathon God has you running in your life today. Don’t quit now. If it is the marathon of Bible reading, know that this has eternal benefits! May He richly bless you today.

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