A Vicar Writes: July & August 2017

What an eventful last month! Its been a very busy few weeks for me but the highlight has to be completing my first ever marathon.

Many of you will know that I signed up to take part in the Liverpool Rock and Roll Marathon about 10 months ago. Completing a marathon is something that has been a life long ambition for me, however, due to circumstance and the general busyness of life I never got round to it. However, this all changed 10 months ago, when I decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and take the plunge. However, this was a real case of ‘killing two birds with one stone’ as it was the perfect opportunity to launch a sponsorship event towards the church redevelopment project. So it was with much fear and trepidation that I embarked on my marathon training last September. Finding the time to train has been difficult, there have been moments when I would come in from a busy day of meetings, followed by evening meetings, then have to head out and do a run anywhere between 6 -10 miles- when all I really wanted to do was ‘chill out’. Then there have been the injuries! (and theres been a few of them, from aches and pains, to muscle strains!) Throughout all this time I have had to remained focussed on putting in the miles. My longest training run was a 20 mile run a couple of weeks before the event, however, this resulted in a groin strain!!! Followed by the panic of whether I’d be fit enough come race day.

The actual event was brilliant, I loved every minute of it. I had to take it fairly easy due to my groin injury but overall I was delighted to finish in a respectable time of 3 hours 55 minutes. Along the course there were some highs and lows, there was a moment at 24 miles, were cramp was beginning to set in and the pain of that began to spread through my body but being so near to the finish nothing was going to stop me at that point! Then there was the crowds along the route – people were amazing! It was brilliant to see so many church family out supporting the runners. THANK YOU! In the days after the event, I have been on a real high, I have achieved something I always wanted to do, and in the process have raised about £2300 in sponsorship towards the church redevelopment. HUGE THANKS to everyone who has contributed in any way -that total is truly amazing! And its that reward that makes all the pain worthwhile! And believe me, the two days after the event were certainly painful but its easing off now and I’m looking forward to getting back out there again!

So two things:

Firstly, 2 Timothy 4:7 ‘I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have remained faithful’. In our Christian faith we are called to remain focussed – to persevere. There will be highs and lows, but in all things let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and let us run the race that he has set before us – wherever that might lead us!

Second; Hebrews 13:5 ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you’. Let us hold on to promise of God, that he will be with us in all situations, that he will walk (or run) with us. That we are never on our own. (I certainly felt his presence with me along the route and what a blessing it was!)

So as we enter into the summer months and the holiday season, can I encourage you to remain faithful, to continue to worship during the summer weeks. Yes we can enjoy our holiday, but that doesn’t mean we need to spend 6 weeks away from church. God never takes a holiday from us!!! Let us keep going!!

Acts 2:42 ‘And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship’.

 

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