Running Alongside: A Chance for the Children » Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Athlete Blog | Running | Triathlon | Cycling | Fitness | Martial Arts | Powered by Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine

Mar 292014

If you haven’t heard of Matt Benjamin or Bless the Children Ministries — don’t worry you will someday.  Actually, maybe that day is today.

So, Mr. Benjamin, a high school student at Regent Preparatory School, went on a trip to Uganda and met hundreds of orphans that inspired him to utilize all of his resources here in the states to raise money for them.  He speaks on their behalf and coordinates amazing runs.  His passion is compelling.  If you hang out with him too long, you can’t help but become a donor.

This weekend he helped put together the Orphan Run 2014 – Stillwater.  Eden (my twelve-year-old daughter) and I ran it this morning.  As I was running, I took some time to really soak in my surroundings and the people I was running alongside.  At first, I took a stroll down memory lane running past Gallagher-Iba Arena on campus.  I thought about how much I thought I knew in my late teens – almost laughable now really.  But then Eden and I came up on two older men running alongside one another.  They appeared to be engaged in a conversation that really involved encouraging one another, because from time to time you’d see one of the men reach out and pat the other man’s shoulder.  Then it hit me.

Don’t we all need someone to run alongside us from time to time to encourage us?  Whether you are physically running or doing the proverbial mom running, doesn’t it help to know that someone cares about you and your journey?  Isn’t it comforting when you see someone advocate for a struggle that you live with?  Of course it is.  We don’t live in isolation.


Passionate people inspire me. Matt Benjamin is passionate about helping orphans.  Melissa Cole is passionate about shining a light on what it looks like to raise an autistic child (in a not-so-patient world).  Holly Beitel is passionate about you (yes, you) knowing your purpose.  And my husband is obsessed with leaders being equipped to lead without compromising their own optimal living.

I am passionate about children of divorce having a voice.

What are you passionate about?  Who are you an advocate for?  What are your kids’ interests? And, who do they want to help?

On the way home today, I asked Eden what lit her fire or brought about emotion and a desire to help or contribute.  Her response blindsided me.  She said that her heart breaks for kids who feel depressed.  She talked about her own walk with the hovering cloud and how hard it is to be sad when you have no reason at all.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill


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