Marathon running, like mountain climbing, is not for the faint of heart. Of course, that hasn't stopped people from climbing mountains or running marathons. While parts of both of these endeavors, (serious, determined effort), involve individual passion and committement, the success usually is determined by the team. I learned this lesson of survival in my scuba-training, as we were taught to "never dive alone!"
Mount Everest has claimed many lives and they say that there are over 120 bodies still on the mountain today. In 1935, climbers found the lone body of Maurice Wilson, an Englishman who had sneaked into Tibet and tried to climb the mountain secretly without government approval. He hired only three porters and as they approached the North Col, those men refused to go any farther with him. Wilson decided to go alone and that decision killed him.
John Maxwell, writes, in his book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, that you can never build a team during a crisis. The team needs to be assembled and ready to help when the crisis or problems begin. Last Sunday, I had a wonderful reminder that I am not alone.
Chris and I are a part of the greatest Bible study class in the world. That's right, you heard it hear first. They have allowed me to teach and study God's Word with them for the last four years. We have struggled with the name of this group because we don't fit into a proper normal category. This group consists of all ages, some couples, some half-couples, and a diversified group from many walks of life. We jokingly call ourselves the Misfits, and one of our ministers, Rex Jackson, agrees with this name. (Ha!)
Last Sunday, I was sitting and enjoying a special time of worship. We had participated in singing a couple of my favorite worship songs and my favorite hymn, (a separate blog), when our pastor, Lyn Holly announced that we would have a special presentation. NO! Not now! I quickly perused the bulletin, and there it was, a special presentation. That settles it, if it is in the order of worship, we have to do it and, of course, if it is not in the bulletin, we can't. It's the Baptist Way! Would this be for a SS pin and years of unbroken attendance? Perhaps a donation for the clothes closet? Then, Mike Jones, a special friend and fellow misfit walked to the front. Misfits rose from their seats to come join Mike at the front of the church. Don Winkler, another special friend, had made a beautiful wooden shadow box and the class had signed and writtten notes of encouragement on my race shirt that I had worn on my first marathon. Yes, tears soon followed.
I have pre-op work on Tuesday, 2/3. On Wednesday, I will have day surgery to have a double mediport implanted. I will begin chemotherapy the next week and will continue this treatment through June. On my mind right now, is a group of young men I am honored to coach, who depend on me as we try to obtain a play-off spot in a very tough district. During this time I do not know what to expect. But I have been reminded that I am not alone! My team has been prepared ahead of me. I promise to tell this group of prayer warriors and friends, (the Misfits), what I need and how they can help during the months ahead.
The Race of Faith
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Heb 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Thank you for the reminder, my friends. Chris and I love you more than you know. This "season" will be over soon and I look forward to the day that I will lead this group again. Keep praying and keep cheering! I will finish!