In August I ran my first marathon. It was the Chevron City to Surf in Perth, Western Australia. In some ways I think life is like a marathon:
>Running a marathon is hard work! I felt really good for the first 10 kilometres. But for the rest of the marathon I had sore legs, especially when the hills began at the halfway point. By the last hill it was a struggle to keep running (in fact I walked for a couple of minutes).
>Life is also hard work. Although life is great a lot of the time, we all face struggles now and then. It's during the hard times that I'm especially glad that God is with me. God makes a fantastic promise to those who put their faith in him: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
>One big reason I that I successfully completed the marathon wast that I ran with hundreds of other people. And there were dozens of other people handing out drinks along the way. (Thanks to all the volunteers and the Chevron City to Surf organisers!)
>Life is also better when it is shared with a group. The biggest - and in my opinion best - group is the family of God. You enter God's family by putting all your trust in God's Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says "God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die." (John 3:16)
>In the marathon I found that simply seeing others running alongside me, encouraged me not to give up but to keep running. Likewise as I share live with other Christians, they encourage me to keep on going when life gets hard. God intended for us to be part of his community, the Church, where we can share life's ups and downs. In the Church we spur each other on to love, good deeds, and towards our ultimate goal of eternal life with God.