Good Morning, Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine.
Vicar is away today.
Instead, here is a prayer for those taking part in the London Marathon. Good luck to all of You. To the rest of you, a wonderful, sunny Sunday.
Vicar will resume next week.
You are running, and the race is long. I pray that your eyes, your ears, your heart will be open to know just how many witnesses you have – how great a cloud of watchers, so aware of the race you are running.
Others near and far have been tripped up and fallen. I pray that you run free from the entanglements and weights – light-hearted, love-driven, and alert to distraction.
Underdogs and favourites all start well, but only one receives the prize. I pray that you will have the will of the marathoner, knowing the road is long but your will and power to endure is longer still.
Confidence and courage wane in the face of fatigue. I pray that as you run, you are vitally connected with the Perfecter of your faith, and that your gaze will look past the distance, the pain, the grandstands or the other runners – and that you will embrace His nearness as your good.
Aching may be a familiar companion and answers may seem fleeting. Nevertheless, I pray that you will run shame-free and lion-hearted, confident of the joy that awaits you as you cross the finish line into His waiting arms.
No one who runs this race, including you, runs without a compass or a guide. I pray that despite the weariness or the opposition, you will run in the wake of the One who made it before you without losing heart.
Discipline calls for tough choices and sober sacrifices. Yet I pray that you bear with honour the ultimate expression of being a child of, and loved by, the Father.
Often that discipline shows up in the deceptive form of permanent pain or unending longing. I pray that even in moments of sorrow you can see the joy, and in what appear to be moments of hopeless challenge, you can trace the good.
Isolation and the disease of introspection will cripple you and render you powerless to finish what you have started. I pray that as you cross the finish line, you do so beside someone whose hands you have strengthened and whose stride you have helped to lengthen.
Twists and turns may appear scenic, but in the end, they only complicate your life and hinder your progress. I pray that as you pursue the way set before you, that your wisdom abounds, your effort is multiplied, and that your paths are made straight by the vision, hope, and faith that you certainly will carry.