John Kent, a freshman theology major at Southern, placed third overall in the 7 Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga, Tenn., which is sponsored by the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. This was his first marathon.
For Kent, running is as much a spiritual exercise as it is a physical one. In addition to being a hobby, it is also time he spends with God in prayer. Initially he only signed up for the half-marathon, but couldn’t get the idea of running the full marathon out of his head.
“It was like God was saying ‘Why not the marathon, John?’ It was as if He wanted to run the full race with me,” Kent said.
While he did not do any special training for the event, Kent felt that God indirectly prepared him through his usual runs. Without fully realizing it, he found himself closer to the front of the race than he had expected, finishing with a time of 2:57:44.
“When I was running the marathon, I felt this energy and strength that I have never felt before,” he explained. “I did feel tired near the end of the race, but even then, I knew that I could finish strong. I thank God, because He gave me that energy and strength. I was running for God’s glory, not for a medal or to beat others. He and I ran it together.”
Kent says his inspiration comes from the concept in the Bible of running the race, particularly Isaiah 40:31 NKJV: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”.
Southern Adventist University | January 2020