This morning, while enjoying my breakfast, I was reading Luke and came across the passage telling the story of the disciples of Jesus getting in an argument about which one of them is the greatest. In response to their argument Jesus brings a child before them and tells them that the one who is least among them is great. I have found all throughout Jesus’ teachings our typical view of what greatness is completely flipped on what we typically think of as great. Jesus, in my opinion the greatest man to ever live, tells us to be great we must become a servant of all. Far from our typically definition of greatness.
As I was reading this morning I was thinking how this passage would be translated in a RV (Runners Version…what a cool read that would be). I know when I think of the greatest runners of all-time my thoughts immediately go to guys like Bernard Lagat, Haile Gebrselassie, Hicham El Guerrouj and others. But who would Jesus tell me is the greatest? Who would He pull in front of me and tell me I needed to be like in order to be the “greatest runner of all-time?”
I feel like I would be surprised by who Jesus would sit in front of me. I think I probably wouldn’t have read their name in Runners World or watched them win an Olympic medal on television. I think He might put an ultra runner in front of me who maybe has never run a race in his/her life but soaks in every joy-filled step of their day to day running. I have a feeling that He would pull someone out of the Chicago Marathon who trained very hard for months, transforming their out-of-shape body into one that can cover 26.2 miles even if it takes them 4, 5 or 6 hours to cross the finish line. Perhaps he would put one of the many runners who run for a cause or in memory of a lost one. Maybe He would put that person that only runs because they want to spend meaningful time with friends and family out on the road. Maybe he would put Bart Yasso in front of me who travels over the world to encourage runners often going out on the course where no other spectators are just to shout some encouragement there way. Whoever Jesus would put in front of me I am confident of this: that it would be the heart of that runner that God see’s as great and the ability they have to run with a heart full of love for God, self, and others, not the speed of their legs.
“He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.” Psalm 147:10-11