I spent the summer of 1984 in Providence, Rhode Island. One weekend, some former members of the rock band Boston gave a free concert with their new group, Orion the Hunter.
Orion didn’t do so great – but they got one song onto the charts (80s video – watch at your own risk) –
So. You. Ran. There was a mayoral election in Providence that summer, and DJs would play this song to mock the uninteresting field of candidates, “Eh. So ya ran.”
If running is a metaphor for living, care givers might be tempted to take that cynical point of view. “So I ran. I think I just wound up tired and sore for all the good it did.”
Maybe so, if running is just about pleasure or escape. But what if “tired and sore” are admirable? What if just getting out and pounding along the best you can is what the race is all about?
The race track described by Jesus ain’t easy on the ankles,
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
His followers would say that the race isn’t about setting records, just about running the whole thing:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
Just keep plodding along. Yeah, it hurts some days. And then there are days when you get a second (third, fourth, five-hundreth) wind, and you’re in the zone and it couldn’t be better.
Just the fact that you’re on the track, going the distance to care for someone who needs you, is duly noted by the final judge of this event…
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 ESV)