Run, Forest, Run

Run the race... Don't look back, just run the race.


Matthew Davenport

5/11/20224 min read

In my Facebook "Memories" an old article popped up that I wrote for a local paper in the religious section 12 or more years ago. It made me think of the process of being in this race that God has us in. Many of us are just moping along. Many running with all we have. And some just trying to keep pace.

Do you recall when Forest Gump was told by his girlfriend to run. He was being told this to get away from his detractors. As we learn to run the race God has before us, if we stay focused on Him and listen to His voice to run the race (Hebrews 12:1-2), the detractors fall off. They give up. But only if we keep our eyes on Jesus.

Run the race... Don't look back, just run the race.

Martin Buser (pronounced Boozer) is a four time Iditarod Champion and holds the the record for the fastest time, 8 days, 22 hours and 46 minutes. That’s 1,150 miles by the way. He’s been “mushing” dogs for so long that he’s become an expert breeder. An interesting man, he speaks with a Canadian, “oh you betcha” accent.

As I watched the documentary on the Race, they did a side line on his “Happy Trails Kennel” and the methods he uses to breed for racing. Amazing dogs and certainly not what you’d expect. For the most part, they’re all mutts. Which affirms what I have always believed, it’s not how you breed them, it’s how you lead them. But I honestly know nothing about dog breeds, so I’ll keep my opinion to myself.

Martin has raised his son, Rohn, to love and be a part of the life they have, deeply entwined with the sled dog racing. The camera pans to a giant hamster wheel where a dog from the kennel is running. “We don’t put them on it (the wheel). They get on it themselves.” The young racer goes on to say that they often have to pen the dogs up to keep them from it. They just love to run.

Seems to be so true of some politicians. They just seem to love to run. What's that? My punch lines are becoming repulsive? Seriously, though, when I heard that statement, something inside of me sorta clicked. I thought back to a scripture found in Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 1 and 2. The author put it this way, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I personally, am in no shape to run a race. Some of you who know me are probably laughing pretty hard about that one. But this race isn’t dependent upon a healthy body. Even though we all know that health is a concern of God. He wants us all to be able to do what He has for us, but that’s a rabbit hole I shall resist.

The reader is being drawn into an understanding about the life God has for him. A life that is rewarding long before he reaches the end. A life that has a wonderful promise at the finish. A life blessed with fulfillment and joy.

I remember when I was in Basic Training. I never imagined myself running in formation wearing jump boots. Jump boots were for show. They were meant to be polished up to a glassy shine and used when you were being inspected or reporting to your new commander. They were the last boots you’d choose to run in. But, if you wear them much, you were bound to run in them eventually. And blisters were always the results. But if you’re in a race, you come prepared. Or, what happens along the way, is you learn to do without some things that slow you down. Quite honestly, I could’ve run better bare foot than in those stupid jump boots.

In our walk with Christ, we are challenged many times to choose what we should take with us and what we should set aside. Sin slows us down. Our strength to run the race comes from the Lord and sin separates us from Him. That makes the race harder to stay in. Makes our relationship with Him grow thin and weak. Until, we no longer have the strength to push on.

I was amazed at these incredible dogs. What they could achieve. If they have the right training, eat the right food and have the right breeding, they can make the Iditarod. They can get through the race and maybe even be on a championship team. But it isn’t handed to them, they have to “want to run.” It has to be a part of them. The desire must overwhelm common sense sometimes and push them up into the next level. Gotta ask ourselves, do we want to run? These dogs will run themselves silly. You ready to be silly?

The “Musher’s” number one concern is the welfare of the dogs. Far before himself. That sounds familiar. But, there is a place, a moment, a realization that is the goal...the Finish Line. Is that your goal?