The Guide, The Blind, and You.

I know it’s not an Olympic year, but this is my favorite sports story and illustration ever. Enjoy!
I just can’t take my eyes off of this. It’s the best illustration I’ve ever seen— of discipleship.
Paralympian David Brown and Jerome Avery. Google them. Watch all the videos. Read all the articles.
That’s what this thing we are doing is. A guided run.
Two people willingly bound together, a blind and a guide. Victory determined by how quickly one can trust and submit to— The One Who Sees. 
Jesus did it first. With His “Come Follow Me…” (to the cross) training series. Get it? 
Jerome Avery is 42 years old and has been a Guide Runner for almost 20 years. A world class sprinter himself, he began when HE DIDN’T QUALIFY for the Olympics one year. 
Do you see that fellow mid-lifers?? Where you at Senior Adults?? Legacy Leavers, Prime Timers or whatever they say now instead of OLDER??
He didn’t quit when his moment of glory ended. He is still up early, staying fit, being disciplined… so he can run at the pace and race— of another. Purposely slowing down at the finish, so his guy crosses first. Mind blowing.
They are tethered by the wrist, matched in speed, and motoring to the finish. Which means Jerome bears the sole responsibility of matching David’s steps, making adjustments for height difference and running style. He places his runners feet and hands for the start. He shouts encouragement and coaches every turn… “Go David! Go David!” “Turn, turn, turn David!” Watch:
And at the end, he points to his guy, hypes the crowd for the winner, someone other than himself. Or actually it kinda is him… Jerome only wins if David wins— but Jerome NEVER loses.  Talk about VIC-TOR-EEE!
Do you see it? You’re never done. Your job may change in the arena, but you’re always IN THE ARENA. Sometimes you’re the sprinter, the coach, the water boy… the guide. Sometimes you’re recovering from an injury, or strengthening in the off-season. Sometimes it seems like you peaked at the wrong time, ran in the wrong race. Sometimes it seems like you have the heart and grit, but not the vision to run towards. Take heart my Bleacher Sneakers. IT’S A GUIDED RUN. 
“All I have to do is listen to (H)im. As long as I’m in step with (H)im I’m good…” -David B
Ain’t that the truth, Baby. Quit looking around. Stay in your lane. Just listen. HE knows where you’re going, and HE will get you there.
Can you imagine that much discipline and diligence focused on the good run and strong finish of OTHERS?
Can you imagine how many lives have been touched because neither of these guys gave up when age or ability said they probably should?
Can you imagine the trust that must be present here? To run as hard and fast as you can, completely unable to see anything except darkness ahead of you?
Do you see how close David leans into his guide, listening for his voice above the noise?
It’s all the things following Jesus should be. We need more Guide Runners in the Body, y’all.
We need people committed to train, committed to lead, and breaking serious sweat so others can run in the right direction.
“You mean I should stay sharp, disciplined, at the top of my game— and it’s not for me or my glory?” I mean exactly that.
Discipleship is being poured out, running on fumes, tethered to others in need— FOR HIS GLORY.
Sweet, sweet Jesus— give me the courage and humility to be led well. Make me brave enough and strong enough to run hard in the dark.
Give me a servant’s heart to lead others, to finish well AND THEN BEGIN AGAIN—AND AGAIN for your Name’s sake.
Let my victory be found at the end of a thousand races, worn out, wrung out and connected to people I didn’t have to be, but was because YOU wanted me to be. Help me to run with YOU and FOR YOU—AS ONE.
When you can run your race well, YOU ARE READY to help others run theirs. The very best disciple makers are the ones who were blind and know it— and never forget it.
I wanna be these guys when I grow up.