Jasper Thompson discovers God’s timing
ARC grad completes Honolulu Marathon.
by Julie Beauchamp, Major –
“I heard it very clearly! God had given me my time for the Honolulu Marathon, which I was to run on December 11, 2005. Three hours—57 minutes—10 seconds echoed in my mind as I woke up from a deep sleep. But, could I really achieve that?”
Jasper Thompson was about to run the second marathon of his life. A 2004 graduate of the Honolulu ARC program, Jasper achieved a time last year of 4:3:13. His training had begun right after graduation; he had a goal to run and complete the race, and now, he had a new goal—to run faster.
That was nothing new for Jasper, considering that his nickname was “Jett,” given to him because he was always rushing around. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and he had one great passion—he loved running; whether it be for all-city or all-state or track and field, he was “born to run.”
When Jasper graduated high school he said goodbye to Michigan and spent a brief time in Florida where he started to get into trouble—wrong friends and wrong choices. He made up his mind to head for Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Unfortunately, his choices didn’t get any better. He became an addict caught between alcohol and heroin.
After many attempts at breaking his addiction, Jasper heard that he could get help on the island of Oahu, and so, with $200 to his name he purchased his plane ticket [$110]—the “Jett” was off and running again. But, this time something was different, he felt the Holy Spirit was leading him. He boldly got on that plane but by the time it landed he was suddenly too scared to get off. In fact, he was the last person to deplane. He had taken his last “hit” and knew that he would soon be facing withdrawals.
From the time the plane landed God placed just the right people in his path to finally lead him to a program to detox and then to The Salvation Army Honolulu ARC, to begin a life-changing program. Following his graduation he was offered the position of assistant resident manager, which he quickly accepted; God has continued to show him his plan and purpose for his life.
The day of the marathon arrived, and after leaving the center at 4:30 a.m. he warmed up with a run/walk over to the start line. God was still confirming the 3 hours, 57 minutes, 10 seconds. He was feeling strong—he was ready! “But, the gun went off and I started thinking—I’m going to do this race my way.” All the strategies he’d planned got changed. Jasper was in control [or so he thought].
His new plan was to run full out—and at mile marker 13 he was looking at 1 hour, 44 minutes. “Now if I slow down 1 minute per mile I’ll still make it with 3 hours, 41 seconds, which means …hey, I can make it even faster than God planned. I don’t need God—I’m doing fine all on my own.”
At mile 22 he had “hit the wall.” He was so tired he almost stopped—everything hurt. That’s when he reached out to God. It had happened so subtly that he hadn’t noticed that he’d allowed Satan to take over. That hurt more than his screaming muscles. He apologized for getting into self will and turned everything back over to God. “I immediately felt stronger as I prayed—I was realigned with God.” Before he realized it he was at mile marker 24. “God was showing me what was possible when I leave him in control.”
The next thing he realized was the finish line coming into view—he had completed his second marathon with a time of 4:5:46, not the timing he had hoped for, but God had allowed him to finish, and he felt good.
Hebrews 11:34 sprang into his mind, “…weakness was turned to strength.” That’s just what had happened, his weakness was turned to strength. Will the “Jett” be ready for the next marathon? “Oh, we’re ready now, God and I, and it’s all about—his timing.”