Script - Monday 7th May
Later today in Northern Ireland the 37th Belfast Marathon will wind its circuitous path around the city.
The route has changed since I ran it way back in the 1980’s.
Starting in the city centre on their 26.2 mile run competitors will see many of Belfast’s sights.
The atmosphere is still great. Cheered on by crowds of well-wishers the runners will pass the shipyard where the ill-fated Titanic was built and the film studios where Game of Thrones is made.
I remember from my own experience a long time ago how encouragement was so welcome on the hilly and more lonely sections.
I can recall running slower and slower up a long one-mile incline about 20miles in and being handed a carton of juice at the hilltop by some children- well, I hope they were handing it to me. It was just what I needed. I was flagging and required a bit of help.
And I was really looking forward to a long cool drink at the end of it all.
At the finish there were free pints of Irish Stout.
They were doing brisk trade, but a pint of the black stuff was the last thing I wanted. I’m certainly not averse to sampling stout from time to time but what I really wanted after my 26 miles was a pint of water. A long cold pint of water. Amazingly back then it was a bit harder to find than the stout butI eventually got what I longed for.
In a conversation with a woman at a well Jesus said,
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
When we thirst for hope or love meet our need abundantly, we pray,.