Oscar Rando and his Lesson


krispy kreme 5k 1

I received an email from a friend this past week about a run that he wants to do at some time in the future.

It’s a five mile run that takes place every year in February in North Carolina.   This past year it had 8000 runners.   

It is the famous Krispy Kreme Challenge.   Yes, that right; the Krispy Kreme Five Miler.

Imagine this…  Lacing up your shoes at 8:00 am, with 8000 other runners, and hearing that starting gun go off.

For the first quarter mile or so, you spend most of your time just trying to find your rhythm and pace among such a crowd of people.

After a mile or so, you stake your claim.   You have your shoulder room.  You have some wiggle space. 

At about a mile and a half you are firing on all gears.  Your legs feel great.   Your breathing is fine.   Your pulse is where it should be.  

Two miles and You start to wonder if you are going to set a new personal record.

But what’s that,…up ahead it’s the two and half mile mark?  Its your turn around spot.   But its not a simple turn around by any means.  

This is the Krispy Kreme Challenge dontchyaknow?!?!

Your legs slow, and you approach the table, where you are promptly met by some lovely donut professional that hands you a dozen donuts and says, before you go any further you need to eat them all.

I don’t even want to imagine the sights, sounds, and smells that lined the two and half miles back.

Why in God’s name anyone would do that, is beyond me.  Not believing that anyone would waste a good 500 calorie burn by consuming 4800 calories of donuts to throw back up half of them while running, I turned to the internet.

Its 100% true; and although admittedly nauseated at the thought, there is something that is oddly appealing about this run for me.   That attraction shouldn’t come as a big surprise. 

More or less what the organizers of the Krispy Kreme Five Miler did was combine two of my favorite things; donuts and running.    Is it a surprise that there is a ring of appeal to this?    They could have added the Patriots to the mix and I would have booked my plane tickets in an instant.

Ultimately, I saw the pictures and despite being oddly intrigued, I ended up justly repulsed.  Looking at the pictures of what happened on that race give me a whole new inventory of sights and smells to consider, that will keep me far away from the start line of that race.   In the end, gluttony and running,…are two things I am not ever go together smoothly.

As I was trolling through the collection of pics on the race, I stumbled upon a reference to a man named Oscar Rando.    The editor of an article made a comment that moments like the “Krispy Kreme spectacle” stand in complete opposition to moments made known through the likes of Oscar.

That said you might be asking who is Oscar?

Oscar Rando was overweight and out of work, when he decided things needed to change.   Things needed to change for not only him but for his entire community.  In reality, when any of us see the need for change we usually act in semi-predictable ways.   We write our representatives.   We pick up picket signs.   We write letters to the editor.   

Oscar laced up his shoes.

He decided that he was going to run the full length of Spain (almost 1900 miles), and sell his body fat along the way.    Sponsors are paying him a hair over $3.00 per pound for every gram of fat he loses.   So far, he has raised closed to $40,000 and has lost 63 pounds. 

The proceeds of his body fat sale go to a local charity that helps disadvantaged people find jobs and provide for themselves.    With a nation that has an unemployment rate of 24%, this was Rando’s way of bringing a small bit of change.

I cannot tell you how often I hear people say, I would like to do this or change that, but I don’t have anything to give.   I am tired of hearing how people cut their gifts short, and say things like; “I am too small”, “what can one person do?”, or “I have nothing to offer”.   Although I cant speak for God, I can likely imagine no phrase that ticks God off more than to respond to those calls, by saying “I am too little”.

People like Oscar Rando remind us that comments like that are baloney.

Rando  wasn’t a runner.  He was a couch potato.   He was and is overweight.   He didn’t have a job, and didn’t have any money.   Yet, he wanted and wants change, so he gave what he did possess:   his legs and his beer belly.

We are all called to find that one thing, that makes us angry, or passionate, and do something about it.   If you are passionate about the environment, you could be called to put everything aside and pick up this call.   At the same time we got to realize that maybe God isn’t calling us to board a GreenPeace ship, but rather to pick up trash on the highway.   Whatever the destination, it’s up to us stop and listen.  In order to here our calling, we need to stop and listen to where God is leading us and ultimately and simply respond.   Don’t ever cut either yourself or the blessings that God has provided you, down by saying you’re too little, too old, too small or too insignificant to do anything.

There are times we stumble over ourselves at my church.   It takes us too long to do things, and sometimes we end up doing them wrong.   People who are in the Liturgical know might say our announcements are too long, our hymns are not the best choices, or that we miss the point in our messages or ministries.  I can almost here them now;  “Can you believe that Scott stepped away from the Lectionary, or sang that him, or didn’t do this or that…”

Yet despite whatever criticisms others may levy, I know the ultimate truth; our small church and our community overflows with gifts and blessings just ready to be employed for God.  From carpenters, to artists, public speakers to administrators, to musicians, to those whose hearts overflow with a desire to minister and care for others; we got it all.   All of these gifts need to be recognized, employed, and celebrated as a cornerstone to all we do as followers of Jesus.

(Picture via Race Officials at the Krispy Kreme Challenge)

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