A Faithful Run

ReeseMarathon1I’m on the other side of the marathon I ran in Winnipeg, Manitoba June 19th, healed up and oddly enough wondering when I could do the next one.

 

Some have asked, “Why run a marathon in Winnipeg?” It was my birth-place and it fit my schedule. To be honest I was hoping it was not going to be my death-place on June 19th, although that would have made for a cool story.

 

Some have asked, “Why run a marathon?” I ran my first and only marathon about 20 years ago when I was feeling prompted to “sell the farm” and move to Southern California to pursue my doctorate at Fuller Seminary. I knew then, and in part prompted during my marathon run that the Lord was up to something in my heart that would somehow connect to what the Lord was up to “out there.” About a year ago I felt a prompting to get ready to run another marathon curious if the Lord was going to prompt me again, and just to see if I could do it again.

 

For those of you keen on such things I ran the Manitoba Marathon in 4 hours 36 minutes. My goal was to hit somewhere between 4:15 and 4:30. Not bad for 54. If you’ve done a marathon you know that the halfway point isn’t 13.1 miles, but mile 20. For me it felt like up to mile 19 was a long warm up for the next 6.2 miles. Although I had to stop a few times after mile 19 from cramping and feeling like I was going to flake out from the humidity, I eventually made it across the finish line exhausted but deeply satisfied.

 

 

The Lord did prompt a few things at various miles during the race:

 

At mile 9: I need the encouragement of others to run the race well. Susan is at the top of the pile as my encouraging and attractive cheerleader. Having Liam and my sister Cynthia and brother-in-law Kevin cheering me on was so good. I recalled the number of friends, family…saints really who have encouraged me on. So grateful for how the Lord has blessed me with people rich in love and encouragement.

 

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At mile 16: I was running through a grove of trees that arched over the road from both sides of the street. Reminded me of a pathway to a prayer garden at the Catholic church I grew up in as a young boy. For whatever reason I was the only person in that short stretch of road. A nice and much needed breeze was making its way through the treed-hallway. I felt the Lord’s presence and deep love for me. One of those moments when you know your Father is just dang proud of you. I was reminded the Lord loves me just because.

 

At mile 19: The third prompting was simply this, “I want you to continue to run the race I’ve set before you. Be faithful to who you are and what I’ve given you to do.” At that point my legs started to cramp up. I thought, “Shoot, if this is my race I’m going to stop and walk for a bit.” Can’t tell you how good it felt to stop and walk. Although I did not want to stop and walk (for those of you runners out there you know why) I had to do so from time to time or the next 6.2 miles. But in the end it was all good—I finished the race!

 

A few weeks away from the Manitoba Marathon I think the one thing that stands out from the experience is the importance of remaining faithful to one’s walk with the Lord, to those around you, and to the work you’ve been given to do. I’m learning that faithfulness breeds gratitude and gratitude love. I know I have a ways to go, but I feel like I’m becoming a more grateful person, and one more concerned with how I am loving.

 

Remaining faithful is not a “syrupy” thing. It is hard and at times grinding, but very meaningful and very right. Remaining faithful to the ministry of VantagePoint3 has brought its share of rich satisfaction, fearful discouragement and a very present unseeing sort of faith. Many times I feel like we should somehow be further along than where we are as a ministry organization. That may be more my concern than the Lord’s.

 

I am also still in a lingering state of gratitude and surprise for the remarkable way many of you have supported me and the ministry of VP3 financially in your marathon sponsorship. Since a marathon is 26.2 miles I had a goal of raising $26,200. That was my “faith goal.” You gave $32,500! Thanks for believing in me and in this good work of VantagePoint3.

 

I would encourage you sometime this summer to do something physical, a hike, a climb, a ride, a run, a swim. Ask the Lord to nudge you with what may be good for you to hear in your own journey these days. Say thanks to your cheerleaders. Remember the Lord gets a kick out of you. Continue to run the race set before you.

.LiamFinish

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About The Author

Randy Reese

I experience deep joy when I see people discover more fully who God is, who they are, and what God has called them to do. I play that out at VP3 by helping to ensure that collectively we as a team and as an organization are architecting resources and processes to help deepen and empower people in churches and other organizations. Susan is my wife, soul mate and friend…Liam is our son in whom we are simply amazed. I am originally from Canada where my vocational work was that of a journeyman electrician. When I married Susan, I began another educational journey in preparation for the ministries I am a part of today…undergraduate at University of Sioux Falls (BA), masters at Sioux Falls Seminary (MDiv), and then doctoral work at Fuller Seminary (DMiss). Besides all of that, put a good pot of coffee on and I love to sit and have good conversations.
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10 thoughts on “A Faithful Run

  1. Cummins says:

    God has used you repeatedly in my life as a reminder of His faithfulness and guidance. Your cheerleader has been in the same boat. I thank you of that and thank God for that often. Through completing Emerging Journey, I saw exactly the points in my life where God was directing, holding, showing, and loving me. Had I not done that work and had you not listened to God calling you to teach others about the power of His presence in my world the whole time I was living it, I may not have ever given that as specific thought as I have. This by no means indicates I will be running a marathon with you in the near future; at least one that physically requires running, but emotionally, I’m right there brother from another mother.

    • Randy Reese Randy Reese says:

      thanks for your kind words Cindy. Grateful for our friendship over the years. Thanks for the ways you have noticed the Reeses.
      Randy

  2. Cynthia Nelson says:

    Good words of encouragement. I’m so proud of you and was blessed to be there to cheer for you along the way. It was great to get an extra visit in with the family.

  3. Doris Graves says:

    Congratulations on completing the run. You and all the others are remarkable in their devotion to completing a project – especially one so physical as a marathon.

  4. Maureen Miller says:

    Randy, you lead, you model, you challenge and you inspire! HE makes His face to shine upon you and is delighted!
    Ugh…I may have to brush the prairie dust off my runners.
    Well done brother!!

  5. Dana Sanders says:

    A faithful run indeed.

    We miss you, Randy.

  6. Randy, truly this post is apt for your homegoing. You ran the race well and now you have crossed the finish line! You have been faithful, you have been courageous, you have left a legacy of faith and hope for many.
    Randy was my doctoral mentor in 2014/2015 – his kindness and continued encouragement helped me stay the course! Thanks Randy for a life well-lived. Prayers are with the family and friends you left to take the baton and do the next leg of the race!

  7. Prudence Cole says:

    Your legacy and impact will be felt for many years to come. The deep sadness many feel at your passing is a testament to you. Enjoy your new home with our Father, I hope I can honor God’s direction as you did.

  8. You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. How I would love a glimpse of your face as your Father greeted you and said, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. You are greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

  9. Karen Cero says:

    Randy,Your gentleness, kindness,True Grace has always Shined Through You. I do Believe God has given all of us a Gift. It has been an Honor to have gotten to know you. My Thoughts and Prayers are with Susan, Liam and All Your Family & Friends. I Know God has a Plan and Your Legacy will Live On. GOD BLESS, YOU WILL BE MISSED BY US ALL…

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