Standing on the sidelines and watching others compete is not really what I like to do. But this is one of the sacrifices I choose to make to promote the sport I love.

Yesterday was the NETI 5k Time Trial, and we had some fantastic runners. We do not often see times of less than 16 minutes here in Chandigarh.

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The ladies also did well.

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 8.15.29 PMBut it wasn’t so much fun for me to do the organizing. (I actually took care of only half of the responsibility since I had a co-organizer in Babu Gudime who is the founder of NETI) There are quite a lot of things that have to happen at the same time during such an event. It is a good learning experience. Our team of volunteers did well, even though all of us are still quite new to it. But it is a lot of stress to make sure the runners get what they need and when they need it.

Funny, the lessons you learn. I knew that financially the decision to give prizes was not a good one for such a small race. What I didn’t realize was that on other levels it was also a bad decision! Since most runners run for fun, fitness, and friendship, prize money is overrated. We don’t need it. An incident (on which I do not wish to elaborate) caused me a lot of pain. This is the kind of thing that might let well-meaning organizers give it up and decide not to do it again.

But I am convinced that, at least for now, we need to push on. I believe the Lord spoke to me in various ways during the past week about trusting Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.”

I also got this when I was seriously considering to stop:Joel running image

I know the context is different, but it still got the message across. My friend, Joel David, who created this, is not a runner and never posts something like this. He is in Canada, and we do not communicate often. I do not think he is aware of what I am doing. But when I needed to hear it, it was right there in my inbox. How beautiful is the grace of God that he is interested in our daily affairs?!

And I am learning to stay calm and trust. The night before the race I read the Bible with my son as usual, and we came to the story where Israel was stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, and they were frightened.  God told them this:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (If you do not know the story, go and read it here.)

This was when I finally realized that the race was not just my idea. It was God’s idea. He would take care of it. I needed to be still and trust him.

On race day, it was hard not to be worried and not to be pulled in all directions. I want to apologize to any of you whom I ignored because I was too busy trying to micro-manage the whole thing! That is the opposite of trust.

I am a slow learner.

I also need to learn to delegate much better. Thank you to my team who did so well and displayed one of our core values, servanthood, very clearly.

We hope to do a Christmas run on 25 December. More details to follow.

Keep running

Stephan

 

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