For the past 5 years, I have found myself on the sidelines of the Country Music Marathon cheering on strangers and friends alike. This year Ciona opted out of hooping, so I got to share the experience with her as well which was in and of itself a blessing. It is crazy how Ciona does not get weary of cheering and delighting in the accomplishments of other people. Crazy beautiful.

This year as I sat on the sidelines, I not only cheered but I pondered the constant flow of analogies to faith and life each moment seemed to give birth to. At this particular season of life for me, the scenes of the marathon filled me with messages I needed to hear and sit with for a while.

Below are some images and quotes that captured my imagination yesterday. I have mad respect for the people who met the goals set before them yesterday and had the strength & courage to even step up to the line regardless of how the race panned out.

May they be an inspiration to us all as invitations to run the race are set before us.

“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.”

– Sir Roger Bannister, first man to break the four minute mile

“Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run.”

Bill Rodgers

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

-John Bingham, running speaker and writer

“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.”

-John Hanc, running writer