Sunday, September 18, 2011

Enduring the Race of Life

This past summer, I ran in a unique nighttime race called the Millcreek 50K, which started at 9:00 p.m. and traversed a number of mountain ridges, trails, and beautiful vistas during the 31-mile course to the east of Salt Lake City, Utah. One of the challenges of such a race is the relentless climbing that you have to make throughout the night while wearing a headlamp to keep you on the trail. There were times that I felt pretty exhausted, and at one point in the race at 3:00 a.m., I decided to lie down beside the trail and bask in the moonlight . . . mainly to rest up for the next section. At times, the thought of dropping out of the race crept in my mind, but I reminded myself that although it was somewhat slow going, completing the race would be worth it. Near the end of the race, I found myself on top of  ridge as the sun was coming up along the eastern horizon . . . a fantastic and warming site that illuminated the valley below.

This race in many ways reminded me of the race of our earthly existence: there will be some very dark moments when we feel we can move forward no longer. The blackness appears to wrap itself around us with little hope of prevailing until the end. However, by simply going on, the bright lights of the day will eventually break and dispel the darkness. This won't come immediately, but hope and faith tend to bring greater perspective into our lives. Will there be pain along the way? Absolutely. But the journey and what we learn along the way will be worth it for it is through trials that we learn the greatest lessons.