Yesterday, my friends Jen, Kristi and I ran this fabulous trail race here in my small town. I wrote about this race in my book Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing life together in an all-about-me-kind of world. As we were running some of these same crazy hills, I asked Jen to take a couple photos so you could visually see what I wrote about. She even went so far as to take a video to share with you! It’s always so helpful when an author has such obliging friends. So be sure to scroll to the very bottom of this post and watch the 1 minute video that features Jen sounding like she’s dying. (It’s hilarious! And you can see my backside as I climb the hill, also feeling like I’m about to die!)
Here’s a fun “behind the scenes” look at the story of the T-Rex hill from chapter 6 on unity.
“Last summer, I ran my first trail race. For ten miles, my friend Jen and I hopped logs, jumped streams, dodged rocks and climbed hills. It was the most strenuous and rewarding ten miles I have ever run.
The race boasted a “T-Rex hill.” Everyone warned us that it was monstrous. Jen and I run a lot of hilly country roads, so in hindsight we were a bit overconfident. We came out of a section of trees and I heard Jen shriek. At first, I thought she had encountered a snake. Then I looked up saw the cause of her terror. It was the “T-Rex” hill. No, it was a sand dune of Mount Everest proportions touching the sky in front of us.”
“After walking, stopping, huffing, puffing, getting passed by a sixty-year-old man, and walking some more, we finally reached the top. We were high five-ing each other and laughing as we started jogging the next section of trail. Then we heard people behind us yelling, “WAIT!! Turn around! Stop!!” Confused, we turned around to discover that in our jubilation we had completely missed the trail markers and should have turned left instead of going straight. We had our eyes fixed on a runner in front of us who also had missed the trail markings.”
“We quickly corrected our course, thanking the racers who had alerted us to our mistake. Within minutes, we could have ended up miles off course and in need of a search and rescue team. The path was clearly marked, we just had our sights fixed on the wrong target.
The author of Hebrews urges us to run the race of our faith with our eyes fixed on Jesus.
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV).
The Message version portrays verse two as, ‘Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed.'”
“We are in this race of faith together. Runners are some of the most encouraging people I have ever met. We run at different paces, with different types of training, utilizing various strategies to keep ourselves going, but one thing is understood: we respect each other’s efforts. Every runner that passes by me shouts out a word of encouragement, “Keep going! You’re doing great! Hang in there!” We have the same goal; we are headed the same direction – to the finish line.
As we run the race of our faith, may we be as united as runners on a course. We are all headed to the finish line of one day being united with Jesus. Let’s run together and bring as many people with us as possible to the banquet table at the finish line.”
Excerpt from “Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? pp 140-142.
Have you ever realized you were off course in your life because you had your eyes on the wrong thing?
If you enjoyed this excerpt, look for Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? at your local bookstore, or at your favorite online bookseller such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, would you please do me a favor and leave a review on either Amazon or B&N? Thank you all so much! And beware of the T-Rex hill!