The Race

When a competitive runner hears the starting gun, his entire body moves in immediate response. He/she knows a fast start is crucial. Today’s life often feels like a hundred metre sprint with the alarm clock replacing the starter’s gun. Even after we retire we are still racing. Every morning, we open our eyes to an endless list of tasks. Our minds are racing even before our feet hit the floor. In the Bible, St. Paul says, “…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of faith…” (Hebrews 12:2) We have certainly accepted the metaphor of life as a race.
It’s September. School has started again. Ready or not, it’s time. This fall, I have a suggestion for us all. Let’s endeavour to follow all of Paul’s instruction rather than half of it. He says keep your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith. When we read the stories of Jesus’ life, we find that he took time for rest and renewal. Yes, he had a busy life traveling throughout Israel. Yes, but he stopped often to pray, to talk and eat with his friends. He kept his eyes open to the beauty of the world around him. He enjoyed and cared about people.
This fall, as once again we dive into our crazy lives, I ask us to remember three things. First, if we had nothing to do, we would soon become bored and feel useless. Much of our busyness brings us satisfaction. We volunteer because the project is worthwhile and we enjoy helping others. So let’s give thanks for what we do. Second, even ten minutes resting in our favorite chair listening to sacred music or reading the Bible, will give us rest. Third, five minutes spent in prayer, truly focused on God, not multi-tasking prayer as we drive to work, will bring renewal. Three small things that require only a change in attitude will give us the power to “run with perseverance the race that is set before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith.”

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