Training for the Race of Life.....Days 48 and 49 (Channels of Blessing)

Training for the Race of Life…..Days 48 and 49 (Channels of Blessing)
 It’s hard for me to believe that I am at the end of 7 weeks of training for the upcoming marathon.  I feel like I am at or even a little ahead of where I should be as the time for the marathon races near.  It’s hard to believe but it is only 90 days away, which means that I have about 13 weeks to go.  A lot of things will change in those 13 weeks.  Hopefully, I will get a little faster, a little stronger, a little thinner, and a lot more ready to run the 26.2 miles.  After the long run on Thursday and some cross training on Friday, I rested Saturday and today to give my body a chance to recover for next week.
 After church we went out to eat with a couple of families who have children that are in the 5th through 7th grades.  It was refreshing to spend some time with them.  We have two children, one that is 5 and one that is 2 and the two year old is extremely energetic.  Which means going out to restaurants can at times be fairly challenging.  He wasn’t happy when we arrived because he wanted to go outside and play the games in the foyer of the restaurant.  So after we got to the table my wife and I started apologizing to the other couples, “I’m sorry…..He’ll calm down in a minute,” and of course frantically trying to satisfy him.
 I love their response, they both just laughed.  Why? Because they had been there and done that (and also had survived).  Then they began to tell stories of how their children were also very “rambunctious” when they were younger.  And by the end of the storytelling we were able to laugh and smile.  God news, you will get through this, and he will too.  They definitely encouraged my wife and I.
 We need encouragement don’t we?  I have a friend who completed a marathon a few months ago and from time to time I send him a message because its just good to hear from someone who has done it.  It’s encouraging.  And from time to time I need encouragement.
 Another thing that I do when I need encouragement is I pick up a running magazine or I read an article on the internet about running and preparing for a marathon.  As I get lost in the words I find myself being encouraged.  We need encouragement sometimes in life as well don’t we?  Whether its raising children or working or whatever, we need encouragement.
 And the Bible tells us to “encourage one another”.  Sometimes people are there for us to encourage us and sometimes we need to be there for people to encourage them.  I bet you’ve never thought of yourself as a channel of God’s blessing to another person have you? Well you just might be the person that God works through to encourage someone else who is going through some sort of battle.  So as we go into a New Year, the year 2011, look for opportunities to encourage other people, to love them, to support them, to pray for them, you might just be the person that puts the smile on their face, the joy in their heart, and that lets them know that they can get through whatever battle they are faced with.  There is an old song that says, “Make me a channel of blessing, I pray, make me a channel of blessing today.”  Perhaps that needs to be more than a song but it needs to be our prayer as we journey together in 2011.
 Keep being faithful, keep encouraging, keep running with Jesus, and walking in faith.