It was the perfect recipe for disaster. As soon as I woke up, I checked the weather and discovered that our third annual South of theMountain Trail Run would be besieged by a wintery mix of rain, snow, and bitterly-cold wind. Knowing there was nothing we could do to change it, my wife and I bundled up and headed out to proceed with the plan. I was unsure what to expect, but I know I never anticipated what happened next.
I’d been determined to increase the number of participants at the event this year and had taken extensive measures to do so, but with the horrible weather conditions, I would not have been surprised if only 12 of our 69 pre-registered runners showed up to the race. When I received news that some of our volunteers had cancelled, I couldn’t blame them. They were assigned to help with parking, but we probably wouldn’t even need them now. Who in their right mind would show up on a morning like this to run in a race anyway?
The answer began arriving shortly after 9:00 am. As car after car began pulling into the camp, I suddenly realized that I needed to fill those vacant volunteer jobs. Remarkably, some of our participants offered to help. They threw on some orange vests and started directing traffic within moments. As people continued to arrive, I thanked them for showing up in such horrible conditions. I found that most of them were not only understanding, but even excited with a “we’re all in this together” attitude. There were some who couldn’t participate, but had showed up anyway just to show their support. Then I discovered that a number of them had not even pre-registered. They’d just gotten up that morning and decided to come race with us anyway!
I’d like to tell you that the weather cleared right when the race started, but that didn’t happen. Those runners endured some of the worst conditions I could imagine for a race, and they did it with smiles on their faces. I don’t know why God didn’t give us better weather, and He certainly isn’t obligated to give me an answer. But He showed me that sometimes taking us through the storm is just as great a miracle as taking the storm away.
At the end of the day, we had 80 paid runners for this year’s event—a 10% increase over last year’s participation when we had perfect weather! This gave us a good start on fundraising for kids tocome to camp next summer. It’s just another example of God’s faithfulness and everyone doing what they can to make a difference.
You can make a difference too. Whether it's your talent, skills, knowledge, or financial means, if you do what you can, you can help make this world a better place.