Hey Hope Ames!
Nine days! That's all the time we have between now and our campus launch at the Ames City Auditorium. Single digits!
One of the weird quirks about me is that I love to run marathons. Well, I love most every part of a marathon. The first 10 miles go by fast because adrenaline is kicking in. The next three to four, you start to settle in, but somewhere around mile 14, exhaustion hits. You think to yourself, 'I've run pretty far today, and I have to go another 12?'
I remember during my first marathon wondering, with 12 miles to go, if the race would actually end at some point. For a moment, it felt like I would be running forever.
Eleven miles to go, I had the same thought: 'This is never going to be over. I'm going to spend the rest of my life running.'
Ten miles to go: 'I should stop. Sixteen miles is a lot. I can be proud of that.'
Then, I hit the single digits.
I don't know what it is about saying, "Less than 10 to go," but it makes the end seem real and near for the first time.
It happens in every marathon for me, as if I'm struck with a lightning bolt of encouragement - a new kind of motivation. Somehow, my last nine miles are always my fastest and best.
As we approach the Hope Ames launch, we've got nine to go. It's been a long journey, but we're close, and I promise the best part of a marathon is the finish line. Let's take in the burst of encouragement that comes with being close. Let's seek out God's heart and will for our community more than ever. Let's reach out to our neighbors and share the everlasting love of Jesus Christ with them, and invite them to feel the thrill with us. After all, we could make all the flyers and social media posts in the world, and none of them would compare to a personal invitation from one friend to another.
Every analogy and metaphor falls short at some point. In this one, it's that once we launch, our work isn't done, but, by the grace of God, we'll start gearing up for the next final nine - whatever that is.
P.S. We've got our second of two "soft launches" this weekend at 10:30 am in the Ames City Auditorium, and we would love to see you there!