Cause to Pause

Reflections On Our Life in Jesus Christ

Today’s Bible Reading (from Numbers 9-11; Mark 5:1-20
Wednesday’s: Numbers 12-14; Mark 5:21-43

During her talk at Passion 2017 in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, Christine Caine told about the legendary Cliff Young from her homeland of Australia. In 1983, the 61-year-old farmer showed up at the inaugural Westfield Sydney to Melbourne UltraMarathon to compete in the 875-kilometer (544 miles) race. He was dressed in overalls with work boots, so nobody took him seriously, but the other five elite participants were in for the surprise of their lives. Each runner would run for about 18 hours and then take a 6-hour break at night. Young, who shuffled more than ran, took a different approach…he never stopped. On the farm, he had experience chasing down sheep for days at a time over 2,000 acres so he figured he could do the same thing for nearly a week. During the grueling race he imagined he was running after sheep trying to outrun the storm. His modern day version of the tortoise and the hare worked as he finished in 5 days, 15 hours, and 4 minutes – almost two days faster than any previous run between Sydney and Melbourne, and 10 hours ahead of his well-trained competitors who were half his age. Young died in 2003 at 81 and has been memorialized with a park named after him where a large gumboot (the kind of work boots he wore to that first race) stands next to a plaque that tells his story. His shuffle became the standard for ultra-marathon runners because it conserves far more energy than conventional jogging. But most of all, he showed the world what can happen if you just keep going even when you want to quit. At the finish line that day, Young told reporters it was the worst he’s ever felt, but it was also the greatest moment in his life.[1]

Endurance through hardship can energize us even when we’re totally exhausted.

Best regards,
Mark Dillman
Minister, Airport Rd. Church of Christ

[1] Passion 2017, Christine Caine; The World Today, 11/3/2003.