Last Saturday, a bunch of us participated in the Ram Run 5K and 10K at Alton Baker Park. The weather was perfect and it was a relatively small race, so the route wasn't crowded. However, the course was laid out with several twists and turns. While most of the turns were marked or had volunteers to point the right direction, some turns were not marked at all. Early in the race, several of the lead runners, including three of our boys, missed one of the turns. When I finished, those who had been ahead of me still hadn't finished. In fact, they didn't make it back for some time. The boys had ended up running a large loop on Pre's trail and winding up back at the park, but from the wrong direction. They were understandably frustrated. Because they had not run the proper route, their time and distance were invalid.
The events on Saturday reminded me of how easy it is to stray off the path that God has set for us. Psalm 16:11 says "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." One of the ways He makes known the path of life is through His Word. But we have to take time to read and meditate on it before we can follow it.
Before the race began on Saturday, the race director gave some very specific directions about the course route. Unfortunately, while he was giving directions, many of the runners, including my boys, were talking instead of listening. Psalm 119:105 says, " Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Some of the turns in the race were marked with a small arrow of sidewalk chalk. It was important to pay attention so you didn't miss a marked turn. God's Word is like those arrows. It provides direction for our lives. When we follow it closely, we stay on the right path and avoid trouble.
After the race, my boys shared that they had just followed some older runners in front of them. How often do we get off the right path because we are following others, instead of following God? Saturday's race, like many adventures in life, provided an opportunity for learning both life lessons and spiritual lessons as well.
If you would like to join with others who are striving to follow the path of life, we invite you to join the Calvary Running Team for a run/walk. We have runners and walkers of all ages and abilities and everyone is invited. This week we will meet on Wednesday at noon at the Springfield entrance to Pre's Trail (park at the corner of Aspen and D streets), on Saturday at 9 am at Clearwater trail and on Sunday we will meet at Clearwater trail at 4 pm.