A few months ago as my friend Ants and I celebrated completing our 53 mile cycling sportive we enthusiastically started searching for our next challenge. At the time we were unbeatable world conquerors, we had the medals to prove it so we decided to up our game. Whether it was mental exhaustion, madness or pure inspiration is debateable, but we settled on a Duathlon sprint race.
On Saturday 20th October at 8:30 AM, Ants and I will cross the starting line of a 5k run, 20k bike ride, 5k run Duathlon. Thankfully being the age we are we fall into a different category to the young uber fit millennials who have to do the same distance in half the time, so we’re in with a chance.
When I started training I wanted to win, to be the fastest, to set a record but over my training weeks my attitude has changed, I realise now the goal is completion rather than time. I’m not giving up, I’m just being realistic, and this is a tougher race than I first realised – my constantly aching knees evidence this! But I will run, ride and run this race, I will complete it and Ants and I will hobble off, share a drink, celebrate our ‘victory’ and probably dream up another unlikely crazy challenge….John O’ Groats to Land’s End anyone?
Last Sunday, during my preaching I made some statements that may also have seemed over ambitious, unrealistic and even foolish. The comments were around my hope, belief, dream that RBC should be financially supporting the Community Debt Advice Centre and we should be using our lovely buildings to host the winter night shelter one night a week, for one month next year. This was me expressing a deep soul rooted belief that Christians should be proclaiming freedom, healing, restoration and new life in practical ways to the often overlooked members of our community. I look at the example of Jesus and it provokes and motivates me. I have been involved in setting up similar projects in the past and can hardly describe the joy of hearing someone is free from debt or no longer sleeps on the streets. There’s an even greater joy when such people realise they are loved, valued, and precious to Jesus, often followed by baptism.
We have a church meeting on 22 November when RBC church members will discuss and decide whether or not these are the right ministries for RBC to be involved in at this time. That’s the beauty of the Baptist Church members meeting. Plans might change, and expectations may be lowered, but as long as we continue to be a church that look out for the vulnerable and neglected and welcome in the stranger and alien, then we are still running the race and we will cross the finish line.
Spare a thought or prayer for me and my knees at 8:30 on Saturday morning
See you soon