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And so I continued to run the race. Not to win, mind you, but to finish. I had learned to run with patience the course, my course. For now, I was a runner with a purpose.

I ran my race as my coach had run. I talked about running and demonstrated what running was all about. I ran through the highways and byways of life, pointing the way to those who were lost. For I knew now what running was all about.

For 35 years I ran my race, through forests and the cities, through the darkness and in the light, in sickness and in health, I ran because I was made for running - I was prepared for running, because I was designed to run.

And I, too, have run my race and finished my course. I, too, have felt the tender embrace of my coach and heard his gentle voice say, "Well done." For I have already re-entered the stadium of eternal life and finished my task. Now, I too, have taken my place beside the smiling face of the old man in the eternal clouds of the heavenly sky.

Below me I can still see the race. I can still see the stadium with its thousands of spectators. And Apathy, Contentment, and Complacency are still seated. Backbiter and Bickerer are still in the crowd. The shot-putter still carries his weight and participants still perform for the sake of performing. And still I wonder why.

But from here I can also see runners out in the world running the race. There's another one beginning and here comes one more finishing his course.

And there are hundreds more entering the arena with their tickets. Coming as a result of the runners and there are many coming who I have talked to. And there are even runners who are running because I ran and there are those who have finished their course and caused others to run as the old man had caused me to run.

Yes. I understand the running but not the sitting. The stadium should be empty and the world should be full of runners. The flow of people coming into the stadium should equal the number who run out prepared. The world would understand running and know what the race is all about if that were so.

And of course, the only witnesses would be the clouds.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2

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