As many of you may know, I have decided to run a marathon. In the midst, Iam currently training for a half marathon on August 15th. So today, I was scheduled to run 10 miles. I picked a trail around Town Lake in Austin. Now, many of you may also know that I am not in particularly fit shape. So running does not come easily. Not like when I was in high school and could crank out 10-15 miles a day with no problem.
So, I found myself walking … a lot!
At one point as I was walking, a man called out to me. I did not really hear what he said at first because my iPod was blasting in my ears. But, I took of my head phones and went over to him. I knew my time was ticking on the stop watch that I had left in the car, but it really seemed like God would have me talk to this man instead.
Now, I don’t have any water (sweat) proof tracts so when I run, I don’t have anything to hand out. But, I’m always armed with God’s word. As I approached the man, it was as if he was invisible. There were probably a hundred people passing by per hour. Most did not even seem to see him sitting by the tree. Honestly, I can’t recall if I actually saw him before he called out to me.
I noticed that he had not had a shower or his clothes washed. He was wearing a shirt that had a SQL statement on it “select * from users where clue > 0 … returns 0 rows” and he had a cross necklace. I decided to ask about the cross first. “Does that cross mean anything to you?” He explained that he believes in God and Jesus. He then explained and showed me that he had prayer rocks and other things. I am not the judge of this mans faith. But, he did agree when I told him that the thing that is important about a church is whether it preaches Christ, and Him crucified. I elaborated and talked about sin, righteousness, judgment, God’s wrath and the perfect payment through Jesus and a mans need to repent and trust Christ.
So I offered to pray for him. He said ok. I gave him a hug and prayed for him. I think our 20-30 minutes together was an encouragement to us both.
Before I meet Donald, I was thinking of giving up on my plan to run a marathon. But, as I was running on from there, I was thinking if he can get through today because of the hope of Jesus, then I can also get through a run, a marathon, life through the same hope in Jesus!