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As I ran from the stadium I was excited and thrilled with my task. I was carrying the message of the coach. I was imparting the gift. And those who were in need would see me run and they would know I'm a runner and surely they will want what the coach has given me.

As I ran I was happy. Truly happy for the first time. I was happy because I was doing that which I was meant to do. For in a race, one must run and if we are all in a race then surely we must all run to win the prize, the reward.

So I ran to receive the prize. Up the long trail toward the rim of the mountains. Upward and upward without tiring, without sweating, without pain, for I ran with the strength of the one who forged the trail. Nothing was too hard or too difficult, for he had gone on before, he made the trail and he knew what was needed and he knew what those who followed would need as well.

When I reached the top of the mountain and came to the rim that surrounds the great valley, the trail veered sharply and I caught a glimpse of the great stadium below. Immediately my thoughts returned to the words of the trainer. Many are called, he said, but so few respond. Very few indeed, ever become runners. Now why is that? Why is it that so few choose to follow in the way they should go?

They all have come to the meet. Why is it that so many choose to watch? And even criticize those in the field? What causes a man to sit and fill a stadium seat when he should be running, when he should be doing that which the coach wants him to do.

And what of those on the field? Why are they busying themselves performing? What do they expect to gain by entertaining those in the stands? Do they do it for cheers, for applause, as I had done? And why can't they see through the phony facade of performing for the sake of performing? Why can't they see their responsibility to take the message of the gift to those in need of the gift rather than perform and entertain those who already have received it.

Why?

I honestly did not have an answer. Yet I knew that I was just like them. I had sat in the stands and I had performed. I had carried and thrown weights and learned to jump and to hurdle anything in my path. I had learned to do all those things because I wanted to do all those things, not because it was necessary.

After all, the trainer told me that the coach would provide all I needed. I only had to be willing. I only had to accept his call, to listen and let him do it for me. There was no need to learn to do all those things by myself or to try to master everything in my own strength. For he is the master and the teacher and the provider of all that I need. I only had to trust him and obey him.

I only have to run.

And I am.

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