The Author and Finisher

I remember when I was first asked to create a facebook account by one of my friends in the music department at college. Because I served in the Marines before I went to college, I was usually three or four years older than my classmates, and was the only married student I was aware of in my department.  It didn't make a lot of sense to me at the time, but I obliged and made a profile somewhere around 2005 and a twitter account in 2006 which makes me an early adopter to the social media craze by most standards.

Interestingly, between this and blog posts I have written over the years, I have in some form an online diary to document some of the major events that have happened in my life, and oftentimes a picture or video to remember it by. I received a prompt this weekend reminding me that I had conquered a bike ride called The Assault on Mount Mitchell in May of 2010.

The Assault Website says that The Assault on Mt. Mitchell is a 102.7-mile self-paced ride, not a race. However, I'll tell you that every man or woman I came into contact with on the course was definitely racing to the top. The "ride" goes from Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the summit at Mt. Mitchell State Park in North Carolina—a total vertical ascent of more than 10,000 feet.

Without getting into the pedal by pedal replay of the day, I can simply tell you that I had taken me 4 hrs to cover the 75 miles into Marion, NC and it would take me almost that long to climb the remaining 25 miles or so. I documented the ride with a very exhausted video from the peak. The time on the clock read 7 hrs, 46 min. This was a full 45 minutes better than I had performed the previous year, but my face in the video shows it took everything I had in me to do so.

Surprisingly when a person trains for endurance rides, only a small portion of the training is physical. Most of the effort is actually mental. When your body has become fatigued, and things don't make a lot of sense, can you continue to press onward? Where is your focus?

This is the question that the local church needs to consider. Will the Church continue to call pursue to God for strength and motivation when the going gets tough, and will we raise up a heritage of leaders and young people who will do the same? As the author of Hebrews states, will we look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith?

In 2026, Randall Church will be 200 years old. In these next 9 years, the facilities we enjoy may not be in disrepair, the people we recognize may still greet one another each Sunday, and the programs we know may not have reached the end of their usefulness. But in 59 years they certainly will have. So, we can rest easy for the next 9 years, or we can choose to pursue. Pursue a heritage of faith that leaves a legacy. Pursue a heritage of faith that leaves His name on their lips. I choose to pursue. I choose to believe that the best is yet to come!

Pastor Milo


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