Finished the Chicago marathon today… that’s 26.2 miles of running.  I ran the race with one of my most favorite people in the world, Bubba Smith. The day started out great with the sunrise over the Chicago’s Lake Michigan and a refreshing cool breeze.  Focused on the sites of the city and 45,000 runners enjoying themselves and spectators cheering us on, I was just in awe of the some many people that showed up to encourage loves ones, friends and runners, like me.  

Obviously, the goal of running a marathon is to finish and accomplish a personal goal: some run for joy, others run for competition, and still others ran for charities.  I ran this marathon (my 2nd one) to raise money for a freind of mine, Ron Butchle’s 2 year-old son, Nate. Ron is the varsity head football coach of Seneca Valley High School.  Nate has a cancer called, LCH-Langerhen’s Cell Histiocytosis, which is a rare form of blood cancer.  Coach Ron has used a saying that he would use to motivate the team- “Keep Swing” to encourage himself and stay positive for his family.  I had a running shirt made with the slogan: Keep Swing Nate.  While running, I heard over 50 times from people that I have never met encouraging me, “Keep Swing Nate.”   I would just say, “Thank you” at least for the first 20 miles, then i could only nod and smile.

Encouragement is powerful!  We all need encouragement. Encouragement helps you accomplish things you would never believe that you can achieve.  Let’s become encouragers.  

There was one poster that i saw 3 times while running.  It was the encouragement that affected in a powerful way. The poster stated, “YOU ARE ANOINTED TO FINISH.”  About mile 19 or 20, i hit the “wall.” The wall in a marathon is where you begin to think, “I want quit.”  Then I saw the sign again, “you are anointed to finish” at mile 22 and it gave me the courage to believe that I could finish.  And, i did.

Let me encourage you, no matter where you are in your life and no matter what’s going on, “You are Anointed to Finish.”  Keep pressing on to the FINISHLINE that God has set for you. “You can do it.” – Larry


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