In college, Wesley Korir started running at Murray State before transferring to the Louisville Cardinals. He had a good but not stellar college career. He was Conference USA Freshman runner of the year in 2004 and earned All-Region honors in 2005 & 2006.
Growing up in Sudan, Korir would run twenty miles ever day for school. Five miles to school. Ten miles for lunch and back. And then five more home.
In 2007, Korir needed to renew his Visa. During his stay in Sudan, they had elections and things went crazy. Riots and killings. In one of the mobs Korir was caught up in, he saw one of Kenyans running Olympians, Lucas Sang, killed. He eventually fled to Uganda.
Back in the States, he worked as a maintenance man at the University of Louisville. His coach encouaraged him to run in the 2008 Chicago Marathon. In the Chicago marathon, like most major marathons, they have an official marathon with the elite runners (in this case twenty runners) and then they let everyone else who wants to participate run behind them. Korir had to run in the pack with all the normal runners, yet caught up with and passed fifteen of the elite runners finishing fourth overall and winning the non-elite marathon.
A few months later, he went to Los Angeles and ran in the Los Angeles marathon, which he won in the fastest time in Los Angeles marathon history. 2 hours 8 minutes 24 seconds. Then in 2010, he won again becoming the first back-to-back winner. And in 2012, Korir won the Boston Marathon.
How I love the story of Korir rising from the poverty of Sudan to an above average college runner to the best runner in the world. If only we could bottle whatever he drinks and consume that same thing in our life. Maybe we can.
Most of the elite runners have special laboratory made concoctions designed specifically for them to nourish their body during the run. Korir only drinks water. He claims, “I don’t want my strength to come from any concoction; I want it to come from the Lord.”
Oh, how we long for a magical concoction rather than continually striving every moment to be who God wants us to be. The Lord's Supper is a reminder that we want to survive on the Lord, but it isn't a magical potion.
Transformation isn’t that easy. We can’t just drink something and change; it takes time. The Lord’s Supper isn’t a magical serum that will make us more like Jesus. It’s like a reset button that puts our life back into perspective. Being like Jesus takes work. It takes dedication. It’s not a quick fix. We come and take the Lord’s Supper every week, but if we don’t mean it – if we are just going through the physical motions, then it is meaningless.
The Lord’s Supper is not relevant if we just partake on Sunday but then forget about Jesus on Monday. We should stop taking it if that is the case.
Instead, let us always remember that when we come to the Lord’s table that Jesus is the source of our life. When we are thinking whether we need to love that neighbor who is a jerk at times, remember that Jesus is our life. When we are frustrated with that person that makes all the wrong decisions, remember that Jesus is our life. When we are tempted to slack off at work and just slide by for a while, remember that Jesus is our life. Jesus, Our life. That is what we celebrate when we take the Lord’s Supper.
When we take the bread and the cup, it’s a commitment to let the source of our life be Jesus, to let him work in every area of our life with the help of the Holy Spirit. Every day. Every moment. Like the runner Wesley Korir, we need to let Jesus to be the source of our life. We will fail, and that is the reason we need Jesus to be our Passover sacrifice.