Baltimore Running Festival 2009

Here we go again. Last year, Helping Up Mission Executive Director Bob Gehman strong-armed me into running in the Half Marathon (13.1 miles!) with him as part of the Baltimore Running Festival. While “running” is much too strong a term (“participating” is much more appropriate!), I did it – and decided I didn’t have any desire to do it again. 

Well, this year Helping Up Mission Executive Director Bob Gehman shamed me into running again with him. I am such an easy mark! It will be quite a stretch for these two old guys (57 and 61 – guess who is which!), but we did it last year and are counting on all those miles of experience to pay off this year. 

The fact is, this is nothing compared to the challenge it is for the men we serve to get and stay clean day after day. Our race is a long one and it will take Bob and me every bit of two and a half hours to get through it. But our men have to battle their addiction twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It would seem to be an almost insurmountable mountain to attempt to climb. 

But wait! The same empowerment that enables me to continue my daily spiritual walk is the same source that will empower every man in our Program in his daily recovery. It works for me, so there is no reason it won’t work for them – in both their spiritual walk and addiction recovery.

The men in our Spiritual Recovery Program can have an everyday spiritual walk and can live in addiction recovery one day at a time. And, if they can do that, then I should be able to finish this race on Saturday, as well! 

So, if you are watching WBAL 11 on Saturday morning, and you see two old guys going real slow – just remember what we represent – men facing the uphill challenge of living drug and alcohol free one day at a time for the rest of their lives. We can do it, and so can they.


Pastor Gary Byers

Spiritual Life Director