Dear Diary,

I ran a marathon…well half, but marathon nonetheless. Literally clear across town running on streets that I only drive on everyday, through beautiful landscapes, sidewalks barely paved, and greenways…yes world, PAK ran a marathon! For so many they saw me running and were intrigued by my journey. This was not easy at all. The best comparison is childbirth and I know for some they probably think I’m being extreme, but no for real. Having been one who has NATURALLY pushed out two big head boys this totally compares. The anxiety, the stress, the rigorous training and planning, THE PHYSICAL EXERTION, all to conquer a journey. A journey that didn’t begin for me at the starting line of a local mall in the morning at exactly 6:30, but years ago when I accepted a call to join the team of faith and enter the race of a purpose driven life. To die to self and gain another world view. As I jogged past my former high school I realized in the span of 20 years everything changed for me. YES, hard to believe I’ve been out of high school for 20 years. In the span of that 20 years my whole adult life started like the most milestone moments that have happened to me, in me, against me, for me in the last two decades, 20 years…Recently, our great nation commemorated the 20 year anniversary of horror and tragedy, September 11, 2001. Still gripping, the scene in my head just like it was yesterday…but it wasn’t, it was 20 YEARS AGO! Then it hit me…running a marathon 20 years later, over two decades my life was fundamentally shaped! From ministry to education to marriage to family to friendships, to searching and seeking. Experiencing heartbreak, heart healed, serious pain, serious relief, traveling the world, exposure to the world and all of this reflection was brought on by a memory while RUNNING 13.1 MILES CLEAR ACROSS THE CITY.

It put a new spin on a message my husband preached one time…simply titled “Ready at 20.” Had a beat and everything, yes, he thinks he’s lyricist, but for real this revelation hit differently while jogging on mile 5.27. In the book of Numbers, the first chapter, Moses, God’s man is told from the tabernacle to go and take a census of everyone, especially those who are able to go to war for Israel. Those men would be age 20 and above, READY AT 20. Well the way my legs feel as I write, your girl IS NOT 20! So what hit differently this time?…I see it’s not about age, but more about what has been taught and brought to someone over that time. In 20 years there’s an establishment to walk or run into your destiny.

This marathon was so much more than a feat of endurance and strength, more than a great way to lose weight and combat physical pain, more than a shiny medal and celebration, it was about a spiritual press towards the mark of the high calling for which Christ Jesus has called me heavenward. In the last 20 years, just like marathon day, I almost fainted, if I didn’t believe there was a glorious finish. In the last 20 years I have had to just put one leg in front of the other; one day, one step at a time. Pick’em up put’em down, look ahead knowing that this light and momentary affliction cannot compare to the weight of glory that would be revealed. I looked up and I saw a generation cheering me on with signs in their hands yelling “run PAK” and as I ran they followed behind. I heard them saying “mind over matter” and I took that all but scientifically. In fact, I heard that totally spiritually, as I ran just like the last 20 years it’s always been about setting my mind on things above and higher than every matter I have, I am, or ever will face. I heard them saying “that’s a beast” and I agreed in my spirit that sometimes you gotta get dirty and ugly with the enemy of your destiny if you want to see people free. I heard them yelling “take us in, take us in”… and I thought pioneer…Pioneers pave ways and for the last 20 years of this marathon of life that’s what I’ve been doing and what I am here to do. I have to stay the course, I have set my gaze, I have to run and compel them that there is a better way… and that’s why I ran a marathon. Yeah some for me; there is indeed a personal testimony, but honestly this marathon has always been about the view I had along the way… and that view was you…just YOU…I’ve always seen you. Young and old, boy and girl, man and woman, professional and the poor, just you, my life is not about me, and when I crossed that finished line physically, I think I accepted it finally. So at mile 20 I look out waaaaayyyy out into the distance to a glorious finish, when I’m presented, washed in the blood spotless no more blemish. For now, just running to please my God, life is my course… yeah… PAK is still running a marathon, guess I’m ready in 20.