Summer 2013 photos.2 022

One of the best parts of a marathon, if not the best, is the finish line.  For obvious reasons.  The thrill and excitement of the finish distract me, at least temporarily, from the cursing coming from my body.  At many races, the finish area is full of people, tents with food, and a celebratory vibe.  One of the best post-race celebrations I’ve experienced was at the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon a few years ago.  It was a chilly March day.  The party tent was on the beach, and they were serving Irish stew amidst space heaters, with the sound of the Atlantic in the background.  I cherish my memories of that finish, and I can still feel the sand between my toes.

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2

There have been periods in my life where my time at church each Sunday morning constituted the bulk of my time with God.  The other days of the week, I believed and prayed, mostly when I needed something, but I kept God in a box that I opened when needed.  I’m still working on accepting His offer to accompany me 24/7, but I’ve slowly gotten better at recognizing He’s always with me, ready to help when asked.  And, I’ve learned to listen for His voice and thank and praise Him seven days a week.  He’s finally out of the box, and I thank Him for His patience with me.  What’s really great about letting Him out of the box all week is what it’s done to Sunday mornings at church.  Church time has become less about getting caught up with God and leaving Him in His house when I exit the church and more about celebrating all He did for me during the week and seeking what He wants me to hear for the next week.  It’s ceremonious and reverent, but it’s also a celebration of praise, thanks and exultation of the past week.  It’s a time to come together with fellow believers and a time to get fired up for the week to come … a little like a post-race party.  And, sometimes we have food afterwards.  I can still smell the donut holes and feel the joy.

Dear God, thank You for always being with us and for celebrating with us on Sundays in Your house.