Before I began blogging I would consistently send out messages to friends and family via email that I had either written or read. When I started blogging that became my primary medium of communication, although I do occasionally send out specific messages, I primarily now reach out through Uncommon Faith.
For those of you that don’t know me personally, I’ve never spoke about my profession on this blog, although I may have referenced a business trip I’ve never shared that I don’t blog for a living (sarcasm with a grin). I enjoy my work for the most part; it continues to be the place the Lord has placed me for now. Someday I believe there is something different coming, something I hope is centered on building His kingdom and not my own, but for now I do my best to write my blog and share the gospel whenever I can.
I have an unusual profession. I own an event timing business along with two business partners. We provide timing services primarily to running events such as marathons and other distance road races. Along with triathlons and any other events that would require participants to be timed. We are busy and by any standard the world sets we are successful. For the past four years I’ve timed the marathon that occurs the first weekend in March in Little Rock Arkansas. A man named Mike Kelly died while running the race last year and I thought it was important to write something about it. Below is the email I sent out to a group of people that had worked with me at the event and probably some others I was hoping to minister to at the time.
I thought it would be interesting to share that.
This past Sunday at the Little Rock Marathon a man died while running, he was 37 years old. I’ve been at several events where people have died and it effects me more each and every time.
I was grieving for this man today as I thought about his death but I also have hope. I don’t know this man, interestingly enough unbeknownst to me at the time I saw his wife finish the race. It stuck out at me because they called out her name “Ebony” as she finished and as I read about him today I now know that was his wife.
Here is an excerpt of the statement from the church he was a member.
“It is with heavy hearts that the people of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas acknowledge the passing of our dear brother, Mike Kelly. Together with his wife, Ebony, Mike was a vibrant member of our community of faith who joyfully lent his time and talent to advancing our collective vision of seeing diverse people walk, work and worship God together as one. Through the years we have had the privilege of seeing Mike embrace God through faith in Jesus Christ, watching him grow as one with us, and uniting he and Ebony in marriage.”
I don’t know if he was a believer in Jesus Christ but I have hope through the testimony of his friends and leaders of his church. I prayed for him and for his family and more importantly I prayed for a lost and dying world. I’m overcome with grief that those we love will perish in their sins. I can only do what I can do but God is glorified in all this and I hope I can bring Him glory as He deserves through the proclamation of the Gospel.
I hope today we take some time and consider our own lives (me included and especially). The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith, Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you are disqualified, But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
How should we do this? We must see if our lives line up to God’s will as the Bible lays out its clear instructions. That’s God’s standard for our lives and when we fall short of the mark (sin) we must repent and turn from it. Life is short and we have one opportunity to submit to Christ’s Lordship.
Grace and Peace
Mike Kelly is no different from any of us. The Lord just had a purpose for ending his life, and we won’t know that reason while here on earth. Without God’s redemptive work in our lives we are only a heartbeat away from eternal separation from God (Hell). I hope that’s a sobering thought.
The next installment of a Sure Guide to Heaven will be my focus for this coming Friday, as we explore the Necessity of Conversion.