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The old-time preacher was trying to rev up the crowd. “If this church is going to rise up out of the ruts of despair and spiritual indifference, we’re going to have to take some baby steps. We need to begin to crawl.”

From the back of the building, an old deacon cried out, “Amen, preacher. Let ‘er crawl.”

The preacher continued, “We’re going to start studying our Bibles to learn how to walk the way God expects us to walk!”

The old deacon yelled out, “Amen, preacher. Let ‘er walk.”

“Now, if we can begin to pray like there was no tomorrow and trust our Lord to hear our cries, then we’ll find ourselves ready to trot for the cause of our great God,” the preacher ventured on.

“Amen, Preacher! Let ‘er trot,” intoned the deacon.

“Seriously now,” the preacher was heating up, “if you really want to please the Lord, give extra hours of service every week and double your giving to spread the Word of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Come and let’s run for the Lord!”

From the back came the feeble words, “Amen, preacher! Let ‘er crawl.”

Many don’t want to run for the Lord if it means sacrifice of time or money.

Hebrews 12:1b says, “… let us lay aside every hindrance (weight or burden), and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.” Paul urges in I Corinthians 9:24b, “Run in such a way that you may obtain the prize.”

Our son, Benjie, learned to walk when he was 8½ months old. Nearing his first birthday he was overjoyed to be learning how to run. He’d run five, six steps, fall down, get up giggling, run several more steps, fall down giggling, get up and continue on in like fashion.

I remember clearly the last day he did this. He and three older sisters got into the brand new little red wagon that we pulled out a few days before his first birthday, the one and only time I ever remember giving any of the kids an early birthday present. Two sisters in the wagon with Benjie, the third sister pushing from behind as I pulled it. The sisters joyfully took turns in and out of the wagon, as all four just could not quite fit into it.

Such joy and memories building.

The next day Benjie was not feeling well. By night time he had a mild temperature. During the night we checked him a couple times. Temp stayed pretty much the same, but he was fussy and slept fitfully.

At the doctor’s office at noon the next day, the doctor diagnosed flu that was going around, but at 4 p.m., Benjie began to convulse. Long story short: Benjie experienced severe seizures and ended up 37 days in the hospital, 30 in intensive care. Meningitis. God spared his life, but Benjie was never to run again — and only walked roughly with the help of a walker.

Now 40 years old, Benjie is losing his ability to walk even with a walker.

In his dreams, Benjie is walking. In his dreams he runs the race. One day they won’t be dreams any more. Even now, in his spiritual life, Benjie runs the race with patience.

But what about you? Ephesians speaks of walking in spiritual ways. On Oct. 19, I’ll share with you some of what God tells us in regard to walking with, and for, the Lord.

And how to run!

Amen, brethren. Let ‘er run.

You may contact Tom Haynie at tom.julie.haynie@gmail.com