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No Short Cuts

Have you ever heard of Roxie Ruiz? In 1980 she finished the Boston Marathon in 2:31:56, the fastest time ever for a woman. Right away though, people became suspicious. She didn't look like she had just run 26.2 miles. Sure, she was sweaty and winded, but she didn't have that completely spent look that is typical of marathon finishers. After a series of reports, one from a woman who claimed to have seen Rosie on the subway during the marathon, another from two men who saw her emerge from a crowd of spectators a short distance from the finish line, it became clear that Rosie had cheated. She was eventually disqualified, disgraced and will always be remembered as the woman who took a short cut. Who would want that kind of story to come up whenever someone googled your name? Every year, people spend millions of dollars on gimmicks and pills that claim to help you lose weight or get rock hard abs without changing your diet or exercising. The reality is, the only way to get physically fit is to consistently work at it. There are no short cuts. The same is true in our spiritual life. We grow through discipline. The training regiment includes time in the Word, time in prayer, relationships with other believers who will challenge and encourage you. In I Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul wrote, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step, I'm not just shadow boxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified." NIV & NLT The people of Corinth were very familiar with running. Foot races were a large part of their own Isthmian games, which took place each year and were second in popularity only to the Olympic games. Because of this familiarity, it would have been very clear to them what Paul was getting at. There are NO shortcuts. If you want to compete well, to live a godly life, to avoid disqualification, you have to be willing to put in the work. In order to "Run in such a way as to get the prize" we have to be willing to prepare through hard work and discipline. You can, as the saying goes, kill two birds with one stone. Join the Calvary Running Team for a training run and you will get challenged both physically and spiritually. We push one another to go farther and/or faster. We encourage one another, we pray for one another, and together we are preparing to "run in such a way as to get the prize." This week we will return to our regular training schedule. On Wednesday we will meet at noon at the Springfield entrance to Pre's Trail. (the parking lot at the corner of Aspen and D streets). On Saturday we will meet at 8 am at Weyerhauser Road (Bob Straub Parkway and 57th Street) and on Sunday we will meet at 3 pm, at Clearwater trail.

The Eugene Holiday Hustle Half Marathon, 10K and 5K will be held Saturday, December 19th beginning at 9:15 am. The cost for the 5K or 10K is $20 and the Half Marathon is $55. There is also a team competition. If you are interested in running any of these races, shoot me an email. If there is enough interest, we will try to put a team together, otherwise we can simply encourage one another. Also, the Pacific Northwest Marathon is sponsoring a contest from October 29th through December 9th. It's pretty simple. Run or Walk with a Friend and Win a Prize! Here's how it works:

1. Help your friends reach their fitness goals by inviting them to run or walk with you in the month of November. 2. Post about your run/walk on the Pacific Northwest Marathon Facebook page. 3. Earn a point each day you run/walk with a friend. 4. Top 5 scores win prizes! Check out the Pacific Northwest Marathon page for more information.

Have a great week! Pastor John