Run the Race, Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk
Track and Field has never been my strong suit. I was always pretty slow afoot and somewhat limited in terms of jumping and throwing. However, last week, as I volunteered at the annual Triway Junior High Invitational Meet, I was reminded, in a
metaphoric sense, that we all run the same race. Some are faster than others, some
jump higher, some throw greater distances, but everyone is invited to participate.
In II Timothy 4:7-8, there is that often-referenced passage, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” This iconic Scripture serves as an appropriate metaphor for the life we live, but we also know that life is more of a journey than a race. What is most important for us as Disciples of Christ, is to walk the walk (in other words live what we believe), and talk the talk (meaning that we should also share our faith with others). How fast we go is of little consequence.
Another lesson from last week’s meet was an acknowledgement of the similarities and differences that make up who we are as Christian disciples. Each of the competitors was wearing a tank top and shorts in the colors that represented their school and their team.
Indeed, teamwork is an integral part of our faith journey, but we must insist on an all-inclusive team, regardless of color — specifically skin color — as well as ethnic origin, socio-economic standing, or any other variable that leads to separation or division. All too often, people, even Christians, select teams that inherently, or even intentionally, leave others out. Clearly, this is not part of God’s master plan, especially with regard to the church.
Finally, in Track and Field, as in life, there is a winner and a loser. The winner usually receives an award and plenty of praise from others, but in the context of our faith, we are not looking to elevate one person over another because we know that is not the case, certainly not in the eyes of God. What matters most to Him is that we all live a life of love, compassion, grace, and mercy. Those are the true champions in His eyes.
If we adhere to God’s Word and live by His commands, then where we finish won’t be nearly as important as how we finish. What matters most is that He will welcome all the faithful when they cross the finish line and enter into His Father’s kingdom.
Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John