This morning we’ll be out in the rain cheering our niece Andrea, running the Boston Marathon. Thirty thousand runners, for almost that many reasons, sploshing through the wind and rain for 26.2 miles. Elite athletes will run it in a couple of hours. Some people will take 6 or 8 hours. It takes a lot of commitment, perseverance and spirit.

Second only to the commitment, perseverance and spirit of the runners is the commitment, perseverance and spirit of the spectators. They’ll stand out there for hours and hours even in the rain cheering all along, cheering every runner, cheering indiscriminately, selflessly, cheering with admiration, hope and encouragement.

I cheer today for everyone who is on a long, hard journey—physical, mental, legal, relational, medical, professional, marital, artistic, spiritual—whatever their marathon is. And I cheer for everyone who is out there cheering them on. This is what God means for life to be like: all of us cheering all of us, everyone wanting everyone to do their best, hoping for victory for each of us, encouraging, believing in each other, sharing hope and amazement. Maybe even a little inspired by each other.

Cheer somebody on today. Cheer indiscriminately. You don’t know what long, hard journey they may be on. And trust this: when you’re in the thick of it, struggling to keep going, slogging against wind and rain and exhaustion, you may not hear it, but God is there, cheering you on, believing in you—maybe even a little inspired. Keep your head up.

   —April 16, 2018

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