By Rev. Kurt Condra
Before dawn one Saturday each spring, a colorful crowd of 80,000 runners ranging from hard-core athletes to costumed, out-of-shape enthusiasts gathers near the foot of the Bay Bridge on the eastern edge of the peninsula that contains the city of San Francisco. They huddle in the chilly fog waiting for the starting gun to signal the start of the storied Bay to Breakers 12k. More spectacle than race, it begins just a couple blocks from the wharves lining San Francisco Bay. The course bisects the city over intensely steep hills, then about halfway through, the 7.4-mile route flattens through the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. Runners know they’re in the home stretch when they see the windmills standing sentry over a sandy beach pummeled by the Pacific’s breaking waves.
Years ago, I ran it. (Though friends say when I crested the Hayes Street Hill, my gait was more of a crawl.) Still, I count it a victory, because for me and I daresay most entrants, running Bay to Breakers is about being part of the spectacle and tapping into a collective spirit of fun and community powerful enough to ensure success for all.
Truth, shared and acclaimed in community, has the power to transform. Even when we think we can go no further, perhaps especially then, the company and support of others can help us dig deeper and discover that through the power of God within, we are far more capable and resilient than we believe ourselves to be.
May you know that power and trust those around you to help you recognize and transcend any limits frustrating your clear expression of the divine. And by your loving kindness and demonstration, may others recognize the power of God expressing in themselves, and instinctually release any limitations blocking them from realizing their own greatness. It’s what I believe we are created to accomplish together. It’s what I believe each of us is innately equipped to achieve.