Here’s an assembly I did on Tuesday at our local secondary special needs school:
Lots of us will have made resolutions, and it is likely that most of us will break them. GMTV asked viewers to email in their new years resolutions. Here are the top 5 that came out of that poll:
- To lose weight
- Save money/spend less
- Recycle/become greener
- Get fit/exercise more
- Stop smoking
CBBC on their website suggested that the top 5 new years resolutions would be:
- To get fit
- Stop biting my nails
- Keep room tidy
- Eat less junk food
- Start a new hobby
Research suggests that around only 12-29% of us will be successful in keeping our resolution.
This January along with thousands of others I’ve started trying to get fit. For me this has involved running four times a week at 6.30am. I’m training to do the Southampton half marathon in April.
Do you enjoy running? If so, are you more of a sprinter, enjoying running the 100-metres or 200-metres, or a long-distance runner (5-km, half marathon or full marathon)? (Ask for a show of hands for each type of race).
The BUPA Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. Each year there are expected to be about 54,000 dedicated runners. Does anyone know how many miles there are in a marathon? Half marathon? (Answer: 26 miles in a full marathon and 13 in a half.)
While gym membership is falling, according to the latest research, running has never been more popular than it is now, with more people than ever going running regularly. The most recent quarterly figures from Sport England show that participation in athletics, which includes running and jogging, increased by more than 215,000 to 1.827 million between the 2007/08 survey and the 2008/09 survey. Charity 5-km runs like ‘Race for Life’ have become very popular, to raise much needed funds for worthy causes, including breast cancer research. Marathons, whether full or half, have sprung up in most major towns and cities in the UK, the most recent being in Southampton.
As well as a great way of raising money for charity, running has many health benefits for those who take part: it is fun – by releasing chemicals known as ‘endorphins’, it can make people feel happier (mental/emotional health); it is good for the heart (physical health); and training for races teaches discipline and dedication (spiritual health). It is also a good way of making friends (social health).
Many people have a life-long goal to run a marathon. Every year many people fulfil that goal after weeks of training and preparation.
Many people see life as a race – a clear start, with stages to pass as you run the race of life. Clearly, everyone finishes the race of life – it’s how you behave along the way that will make you loved.
There’s something very special and fulfilling about running alongside thousands of other runners in a long-distance running race. This is particularly the case after weeks of long training-runs, often entirely run alone.
Paul wrote in the Bible:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Be inspired by your fellow travellers on the journey that is the race of life, and run with perseverance the race that each one of us has entered, and all of us have the potential to win.
What you value will dictate how you run, and keep you going in the race of life. When you feel tired and worn out with the challenges and difficulties that we will all face in life, how will you keep motivated? Keeping our eyes on the prize will help us to keep motivated. You finish a race and win a race by focusing only on the next step. Let God guide you, with good values, relationships and integrity this term, this school year and for the rest of your life’s race.
Thank you God for being with us on the ‘race’ of life. Help us to get rid of those things that hold us back and run a race of faith, hope and love that pleases you.