We were able to go to Utah back in April for my Son-in-laws graduation. The blossoms were in bloom all through the downtown Provo area. The girls loved it and so did I! It was for the last time, (although we didn't know it then) because the kids are starting off on a new adventure in Kansas. While we were there, my sweet daughter Emily ran her very first half marathon.
She has been training for this moment for months. She has been running, exercising, biking and getting her body ready for the race. She has had injuries and set backs. Things that happened to her that would have made it easy for me to quit. But she has persevered and kept training.
This was her big day. The moment that she had been waiting for. The day was cloudy and cold. It was April, yet it felt like snow. None of that deterred Emily from her task. She did her warm ups, and got ready for the race. She ran side by side with her husband for the entire 13 mile journey. Together, they ran down by the Utah lake and back through Provo. Together they mastered the hills and the valleys. Together they got wet in the icy rain, but they kept running.
Emily finished the race in just over two hours. Much faster than I would have ever made it! She wasn't first, she wasn't last, but she finished in the time that she had set for herself. She did not stop. She endured the journey and crossed over the finish line side by side with her husband Matthew, surrounded by the clapping and cheering of her loving family.
The gospel that is so much a part of us, is a way of life, not just on the Sabbath, but each and every day. It is hard work. It is not about taking the easy, comfortable road. Living the gospel requires us to set aside those things which might endanger our relationship with our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. It requires us to make better choices. It requires promises and commitments from us. We may not always understand the "why" of the journey, but we need to be willing to do it anyway. The gospel requires us to run patiently, up hill and down, through the rains of adversity and the snows of trials. Most of all, it requires us to keep going no matter how hard the journey seems to be, and no matter how much we would like for the cup to be taken from us.
In the race of life, we must remember that we are not running to win, we are striving to endure the journey with faith and courage. We must remember that we are never alone. Always, Someone Else is running at our side. We have been promised, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).
If we would do the things that we need to do, we must keep our minds and hearts on the Savior. We must remember that we are running His race, not our own.
We each have to finish our own race, just like my dear, sweet Emily Jane. We have to keep moving onward. He will build us, lift us, and magnify us on our journey. We can call out encouragement to each other, but we need to keep walking, keep running, keep striving, keep serving and keep accepting new challenges. He wants us to finish our journey well. He wants us to return back to Him.
With the Lord, nothing is impossible, The goal is not to win the race, but to run it in honor and dignity, in testimony and worthiness. The goal is to keep moving forward.
Luke 1:37 For with God, nothing shall be impossible.