Monday, December 6, 2010
Yearning to Learn - St. Jude Marathon Weekend
Celebrating after the St. Jude Half Marathon with Terry Greer and Ed Pierson
The St. Jude Marathon weekend was great in so many ways for TEAM 413. This is such an outstanding event because it's all about the kids. The smiling faces of kids who are facing unimaginable health issues in their young lives really grab my heart!
Mark Eldridge was our "go to" guy this past weekend --- setting up the booth --- taking care of the logistical matters for the event --- and being the official representative for TEAM 413 for two days. THANK YOU, Mark! Your contribution to TEAM 413 is immeasurable and I thank God for you each day! Terry Greer, Faye Powell, and Sharon Pierson also helped at the expo and I am so blessed to serve alongside such wonderful ambassadors!
Although I was only at the expo for a few hours, I was able to visit with quite a few people on Friday afternoon and evening.
Pat, my friend from Rhode Island, was once again a blessing. She has been a steadfast supporter for several years and it was great to see her once again. Pat always thanks me for my words on our website or in GRACERUNNER Journal. She is a nurse and has read my ramblings for several years as she works the late, late night shift. It has always meant a lot to me that she has found our words worthy of her time. Thanks, Pat for believing in us and supporting our ministry from far away. You are awesome.
One remarkable story stood out for me during the expo. Lisa came by to buy a shirt -- a black shirt with yellow writing. I asked her about the color and she explained to me that those were the colors of the gym where she had worked out to lose over 100 pounds! I could tell that she was so very proud of her hard work. I gave her one of my books and personalized it for her -- tears welled up in her eyes. She had come so far and on this day, I wanted her to know that she could do anything. She is a living testimony of God's amazing grace!
During the race we ran through the St. Jude campus. I came upon a group of kids yelling and cheering for the runners. As I ran by, I stopped and thanked them -- I had about a dozen of our TEAM 413 wristbands strapped onto my Spybelt and gave one to each of them. But, I was short one wristband! The little guy at the end of the line had been left out --- but, then one of the older kids spoke up and said, "Hey, you take mine!" and then turned to me and said, "Thank you, sir!" It was not just an act of kindness. It was an act of self-less kindness! It touched my heart.
We can learn so much from the people I write about above. We can learn about facing the challenge ahead of us and attacking it with a great attitude from the kids of St. Jude. We can learn service and dedication from Mark Eldridge and our TEAM 413 Ambassadors. We can learn about being supportive of a ministry from Pat. We can learn about commitment and will-power from Lisa. And, lastly we can learn about being self-less from the young boy at the St. Jude campus.
These people made me question myself and now I question each of you. How is your attitude when you approach life challenges? When was the last time you served? When was the last time you were supportive? When was the last time that you had the will-power of Lisa? When was the last time you gave up something that you wanted in order to give it to someone else? When was the last time that you were self-less?
Asking questions and yearning to learn ---
Under HIS Grace...