There are harder things than running a marathon.
A friend is living through a divorce. She'll be a single mom; she'll have to learn to trust again. She'll choose daily to shake loose bitterness and accept small gifts of love and possibility.
A young man with young children spent years working toward his dream of being an aviation mechanic for missionary organizations. After years of sacrifice and patient prayer, he and his wife and kids achieved his dream. He was good at it. Then he died two weeks after a diagnosis of a brain tumor. He was younger than I am today.
A baby boy was born with Down's Syndrome and lived with love for months, not years. His mother loves him, remembers him, and celebrates him--daily. A baby girl was born with Down's Syndrome and lives with love everyday, under the exceptional care of a mother who advocates and educates--daily.
A family found all of its members. A romance, two biological children, two adopted siblings, another adoption, and 9 years in Haiti for the world to recognize the family that was already there.
A shelter in my town has 90 or so beds for women and their children who are homeless or leaving situations of domestic violence. They are always full and turning women away. They are bleeding funding and case workers. Still more women call and ask for a bed...and there are 35 shelters in my town.
Many women in today's world are denied an education rather than provided one. And some of their men believe it is okay to beat them. And some of their stomachs and their children's stomachs are empty.
There are harder things than running a marathon. Maybe running them prepares me just a little bit for any that may come my way someday. Inner strength, reliance on God, daily thankfulness, and a little experience enduring discomfort...running helps me find what I may one day need. To all of you who have run these tougher "marathons," I honor you. You humble me.