A few days back I heard a CBC announcer speaking about the Terry Fox run happening this weekend. He reminded us to ponder as we run, “As you run, think of what he accomplished in his altogether short life.”
September 15, 2019 marks a fortieth Terry Fox run including the first run Terry Fox initiated back on the 12th of April, 1980. He was determined, true to his character, to run across Canada, calling his journey the Marathon of Hope. He ran steady, and despite pain along the way made it through six of the eastern provinces, averaging 42 km per day.
But his marathon was cut short in Thunder Bay, Ontario; he could no longer run when the cancer which had spread to his lungs impeded him from continuing. He died soon after on June 28, 1981, at the age of 22.
His vision was to raise money for cancer research with the hope of seeing a cure for cancer a reality. His vision lives on as thousands participate in annual runs held in numerous communities across Canada and the world. The runs have generated over $715 million in funds for cancer research.
“As you run, think of what he accomplished in his altogether short life.”
That makes me think of another man who lived a relatively obscure life ending up in the public eye for only 3 years.
He was born in a small town, grew up in relative insignificance, appeared in the history of humankind for about 3 years, and yet changed everything. Our days, our weeks, our years, our history all pivot around the events of this one man, Jesus Christ.
He came to earth with a purpose, to make restoration available to anyone who would believe in him. He healed the sick, the lame, the blind, the demon possessed. He elevated women and children and the despised of society. He forgave sins and journeyed to the cross so that forgiveness and restoration would be available to those who would believe in him. He did all this, to defeat not just cancer, but to defeat the source of cancer and ALL life’s pain, sickness, brokenness: SIN.
God had made the world and all things good. When man rebelled against him, everything was thrown into sin and misery. We still reap the results of that today. Look around. You see it everywhere. But there is a greater hope than a cure for cancer… there is a cure for sin!
Jesus. He did defeat it. And the payment for sin was accepted because he rose from the dead. He met with hundreds of people before leaving earth, giving this message, this commission: ‘spread the Hope to all corners of the earth. Because I will come again to make all things new. But for now, the restoration has begun, so all is not lost. I will even be with you in Spirit.’
And so, right now, we live in a broken world, still in the midst of pain, and cancer. But not without hope. Yes, we might have hope for a cancer cure. So keep running if you desire to. But hundreds of other diseases abound that do not have cures. Then we must look beyond the mess of this world, and beyond ourselves… to hope outside of ourselves. To Jesus, the author of life. He defeated sin and death so that one day diseases will be no more; one day we will live with him forever. But while he tarries, spread the hope and the good news of hope… because the reason he tarries is that his family that he is gathering from every tribe and nation, is not complete yet. So tell someone today… there is eternal life and hope in Jesus Christ. He and the Bible tell me so.
As you run this weekend… and the journey of life… think of what he, Jesus, accomplished in his altogether short life on earth….for you and for me, and respond to him with joy and thanksgiving!