Usually around this point in the week I write about the service music and hymns that will be coming up this Sunday. Of course, this week's services will include some great music, including a perpetual favorite from the hymnal: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." This week, however, it will be Cassie at the organ bench.
I will be spending my Sunday morning running the Cleveland marathon. I've run quite a few marathons now (the picture is from the Twin Cities Marathon a few years back), but it will be my first time running this particular race. Last year, I ran the half, and I'm looking forward to seeing even more of the city on the longer route.
Among the common questions I get when I tell people I'm going to run is how I keep my mind occupied for the approximately four hours it will take to complete the course. Racers are officially no longer permitted to wear headphones, but to a certain extent it still is music that gets me through the race. There will be tunes played by the race organizers as well as spectators along the route, and I often think of inspirational songs to keep me moving. (Linda Eder's version of "Man of La Mancha" alone will get me through two or three weak spots.)
The crowd is the other factor that makes a big race so much more exciting than just a typical weekend long run. There are always people with shirts proclaiming runners' favorite Bible verse, from Isaiah 40:31, "Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength...they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
I'll miss you all this Sunday (perhaps offer a quick prayer for me and all the other crazy runners if you remember), and I'll see you next week!