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Run THE Race

Calling Endurance Reward

Source: "British runner Jasmin Paris becomes first woman to finish Barkley Marathons, just 99 seconds before time limit expired" By Ben Morse, March 24, 2024

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2024-05-17

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:7 ; 1 Timothy 4:8

Author: John Reside / Illustration Exchange


Various news outlets report:

On Friday, March 22 [2024], Jasmin Paris became the first woman to ever complete the infamous Barkley Marathons. The 40-year-old mother from Scotland completed the 100-plus mile race in 59 hours, 58 minutes and 21 seconds.  That left just one minute and 39 seconds to spare when she hit the yellow gate. 

Few people who start the race ever finish it, with some years seeing no finishers at all! In fact, only 20 runners have ever fully completed the course!

So what is the Barkley Marathons and why is it considered the toughest and quirkiest race in the world?

The race began by former ultra-runner Gary Cantrell, better known as ‘Lazarus Lake,’ and his friend, Karl ‘Raw Dog’ Henn in 1986. To Henn, Cantrell had mocked the seemingly unathletic escape of James Earl Ray, the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who covered only 12 miles during his 60 hours on the run, saying, 'I could do at least 100 miles in that time.'

It was from that joke and Lake’s twisted sense of humor that the Barkley Marathons were born. Originally the race was approximately 55 miles with 25,000 ft of elevation gain, but was later extended in 1989 to 100 miles. [5 20-mile loops]

The race has been run every year since, and as described above, has become even more challenging over time.

The race can start anytime between midnight and noon on race day with a one-hour warning from the sound of a conch shell. Later, the lighting of a ceremonial cigarette marks the race’s official beginning. The 20-mile loop covers the exact horizontal distance and does not take into account changes in elevation, indirect paths or getting lost. One of the other quirky dimensions of the race is that runners are required to find 9 -14 books around the state park and take out page numbers that correspond to their changing bib number each round. They must return the pages to Lake every lap to prove they didn’t take any shortcuts.

Upon Paris' historic victory she said, “At the end every fiber of my body was screaming to stop. I didn’t even know if I touched the gate. I just gave it everything to get there and then collapsed, gasping for air.” 


While one can't imagine the kind of training Jasmin had to go through to run 100 miles, the quirky nature of this race reminds one that not every race matters equally.

As the old saying goes, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat." Yet we are called in scripture to keep running! Endure to the end! For a great prize awaits those who do!

In 2 Timothy 4:6-8, Paul says, "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

The race Paul trained for was THE race that mattered! It was one of eternal significance, and he calls us to run the same race as well. 

Compartmentalized Christianity

Christlikeness Priorities Calling

Source: "Don’t Compartmentalize Your Christianity" by Paul Tripp, posted, 1-29-20, retrieved 6/4/23

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-06-04

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:20 ; Matthew 6:24

Author: Paul Tripp


"The next time you’re standing in your kitchen, bedroom, or at your desk, I want you to look at drawers. Yes, drawers. ...

"Sadly, many people who call themselves Christians live functionally compartmentalized lives. Whether they realize it or not, they have divided their lives neatly into two drawers: real life and spiritual life.

"The real life drawer is the one they dig into frequently and are most comfortable with. It contains all the stuff of everyday life, like their job, physical health, friends and family, leisure, money, possessions, and daily routine.

"This drawer dominates their thinking and their doing. It’s where they expend most of their emotional and physical energy, and where most dreams will be realized or dashed. ...

"Then they have a second drawer—the spiritual life drawer. All the “God” stuff goes here. It’s the drawer for Sunday worship, small group, tithes and offerings, short-term missions trips, and the evangelistic conversations with neighbors or extended family members.

"Yes, they believe in Jesus, his forgiveness, and the eternity to come, but these beliefs don’t have a radical impact on the way they think about themselves and life in general. Their faith is an aspect of their life, but not something that shapes everything in their life ... "


"Ask yourself: on any given day, what most influences the way that I think about myself and my life? What is the driving factor for the majority of what I think, say, and do?

"The biblical narrative and worldview only has one drawer—it’s called the gospel in everyday life. Everything goes in that drawer! Scripture asserts that you were bought with a price (the life and death of Jesus), so you don’t belong to you anymore. (Actually, because of creation, you never did belong to you!)

"God has a radical, single-drawer purpose for your life. The best word for that purpose is ambassador (see 2 Corinthians 5:20). The only thing an ambassador does is represent the ruler who sent them—every day, all the time, in everything you do.

"Therefore, your purpose in life is to make the invisible presence of Jesus visible in the lives of others. You are the look on Christ’s face. You are the tone of his voice. You are the touch of his hands. You are the physical representative of his grace.

"This is your mission in every situation, location, and relationship of your life—to make the grace of the invisible King visible. ..."

"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20, NIV).

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24, ESV).

When I Run I Feel His Pleasure

Calling Conviction God's Pleasure

Source: various

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-06-03

Scripture: Ephesians 4:1

Author: unknown


Chariots of Fire won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1982. It depicted the true story of Eric Liddell winning the gold medal in the 1924 Olympic Games. In one scene the twenty-two-year-old Eric explains his passion for running to his disapproving sister, who thought running was a waste of time compared to entering missionary service in China. He said, “When I run, I feel His (referring to God) pleasure.” Liddell knew God had made him fast for a reason and the Olympics were his calling in 1924.

What you might not know, was that after winning the Gold Medal, the mission field in China and suffering for Jesus’ sake was Liddell’s next calling. His missionary service in China ended up in a POW camp in 1944 during WW2. Winston Churchill negotiated his freedom from that camp but this famous prisoner of war gave up his freedom to allow a pregnant prisoner to be released. Eric Liddell died a few months later at that camp. Chariots of Fire ends with these brief words about Eric’s life after the Olympics: “Eric Liddell, missionary, died in occupied China at the end of World War II. All of Scotland mourned.”

Eric Liddell wasn't just a notable historic figure because of what he "did," but more importantly because of who he "was" at the core of his being. He was a man of great faith and conviction, who simply lived true to the calling of whom God made him to be.


Everyone has a calling.

Os Guiness has said of our callings, “Instead of, ‘You are what you do,’ calling says: ‘Do what you are.’”

Using Eric Liddell’s inspirational “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure” statement as a template, how would you fill in the following: “When I ____________, I feel God’s pleasure.“ 

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Lost Border Collie Found Herding Sheep

Spiritual Gifts Purpose Calling

Contributed By: Adam Tisdale | Date Posted: 2021-10-18

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:14

Author: KHQ News

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Drawn to the Well

Legalism Calling God's Love

Contributed By: Gabriel Carnes | Date Posted: 2019-03-29

Scripture: John 4:14 ; John 10:27

Author: Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch

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The Man Who Is Willing To Serve Unnoticed

Calling Spiritual Gifts Humility

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-05-26

Scripture: Matthew 23:11

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Man Digs Hole In The Jungle For God

God's Will Obedience Calling

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-02-17

Scripture: Colossians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Stay In Your Call

Calling Contentment Purpose

Contributed By: Eric Hollar | Date Posted: 2015-07-13

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:24

Author: Eric Hollar

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Safety Is Not Our Goal

Risk Calling Stewardship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-31

Scripture: Matthew 25:14

Author: Alan Cohen / Illustration Exchange

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Offering Support

Giving Calling Missions

Contributed By: Nic Montoya | Date Posted: 2014-02-09

Scripture: 2 Samuel 17:27 ; Philippians 4:18

Author: Mike Sanchez

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