by Dr. Grant Scarborough
A marathon is a long way. Twenty-six point two miles. That can take hours in Atlanta traffic and longer when you are running. I remember a 16-mile training session. That’s a long way also. We left at 3:30 in the morning. I wasn’t sure if the cars we were passing were coming in from a long night or getting up early for the day—until we were yelled at and whistled for. They were obviously drunk because we were three ugly men. The other thing about running that early in the morning is that you can almost run down the middle of the road without concern. The other interesting thing is that the waffle house is the only option when your bowels start talking. They might just try to lock you out—just saying—I have heard of that before. I would not know.
That late night early morning, we ran around the airport. That just hurts to write—around the airport. The runways are very long. Rounding the terminal, the phrase rang out from each one of us, “Heading for the barn.” When you are running for hours, you have to get into a zone. When you run three miles, you can keep saying the entire time that you are almost done—just a little longer. But running for hours, you must realize that you are in for a long haul. If you are running 16 miles, just settle in. But there is a point in the run when you realize you are heading home. You are no longer running away from home, you are running towards home. You are getting closer to finishing. You are heading to the barn. In fact, you get excited—sometimes the pace picks up a little—you can picture sitting down, feet propped up, food on the table, and laughing about the long haul. In fact, good runners should be picking up some speed in the second part of the run. It is always good to hear the words, “Heading to the barn.”
A couple of days ago, my wife and I were attempting an 18-mile run. We are not good runners. Our second half was not nearly as good as the first half of the run. But when we turned around, I yelled out the phrase, which got me thinking. I am heading to the barn. I am past 40 years old. I am heading to that great wedding feast in the sky. I am heading to eternal fellowship with God our Father. I will enter into the home Jesus has been preparing for me. And we will laugh about the long haul of life.
But how am I doing on my spiritual run? Am I picking up speed? Am I more in love with Jesus? Do people see more of the aroma of Christ in me? Am I becoming less and Christ becoming more? Am I less concerned with the things of this world and more concerned with Christ? I wish I could answer yes for all those questions or even one.
The first 40 years were very fast—the second I hear is even faster. I want to cross the finish line and finish well. Finish with eyes set upon the Lord, sprinting to expand his Kingdom, picking up speed to make His name great.
Lord change me. May You that began a good work in me, finish it. Give me the humility to see where I need change and the strength and courage to ask you to help. And may I run with joy these last 40 years to the great barn paved with gold streets. Wow! Let’s head to the barn together!
Enoch was no more! Genesis says, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” My father-in-law, in one of his sermons once said that as God and Enoch walked, God looked at Enoch and said, “you are closer to my home than yours, just come on with me.” Sounds like Enoch walked to the barn.
Let’s walk with God and head to the barn.