By Gabe Buchholtz
FamilyLife’s Week of Intensive Training in Miami, Florida, included something extra to illustrate an important principle and produce lots of laughs: the fifth annual “running the race” exercise.
This annual event is a capstone project to reinforce the teaching points drawn from Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
The racecourse is a simple out-and-back run across a grassy field next to a church. The race becomes more of a challenge when the couples realize it is a three-legged race. Each spouse is tied to his or her spouse with straps around one of each of their legs. Even before the starting gun goes off, the couples realize they will really need teamwork and coordination and good communication in order to “run the race” with this three-legged configuration.
What almost always happens is one husband gets off to a fast start, but his wife is not really starting to move along at the same speed, and so they fall down almost immediately. Even when a couple gets up some speed, they sometimes take a tumble because of the uneven surface of the grassy field.
The couples who can run this race the best are not always the fastest, but they are able to develop a steady rhythm and set a pace that is consistent. If they do stumble, they are able to quickly recover and regain their momentum.
The couples enjoyed the fun and hilarity of this light-hearted exercise, but they also grasped the important concepts of teamwork and perseverance in their marriages and ministries.
Noe and Laura Rodriguez from Mexico (center) received the first place trophy for winning the race. (Dr. Motta, far left; Miriam Motta far right.)