The Advent Race
All of us have probably heard about artists and writers searching out for inspiration. Some people travel miles and miles for a pinch of inspiration. Is this really necessary? Jeremiah 33:3 states ‘Call to me and I will answer you, I will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known’. If we look closely most things in life contain inspiration.
When I was a child, I learnt an action song that portrayed our journey to God as a running race. I truly imagined me running a race with Jesus standing at the end of the path. This image stuck with me all this time. Just to clarify, I don’t think the journey is a race in which you have to beat others; it is a representation of a challenge with a worthy trophy at the end. Due to this, three running races that I’ve seen stands out to me.
The first one is a children’s running race where a group of kids fired up to reach the end line as if their life depended upon it. Within 4/5 seconds, they were half way through when one little guy tripped over something and hit the floor. Usually kids stay and cry until their parents or teachers run to them and pick them up and reassure them. Not this guy! He sprang back into his running mode and moved as fast as he could. Although he didn’t win that race, he definitely taught me something. There will be various pits and rocks in our way that will try to trip us up. We will fall eventually, when we least expect it. However what really matters is how fast you spring back up and run to the Father. ‘if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land’ 2 Chronicles 7:14.
The second race was one I saw online. This happened in a high school in Ohio, one of the girls was clearly winning, but in the last few feets she collapsed. The girl behind her, in second position, instead of running past her, helped her up and let her cross the finish line first. I am something of an introvert but this is something we all have to do. When we see someone else fall, we have to do our best to help them up. We lose nothing, but gain so much more! ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ Mark 12:31
The third scenario is another video of 1992 Olympics 400m race run by Derek Redmond. A little while into the race, Derek realised his Olympics dreams were being shattered when he tore his hamstrings. He could not carry on any further, but he decided to carry on and finish the race and he moved forward hopping on one leg. People around him discouraged him, but he kept forcing through the agony and pain. Seeing this, his father rushed from the audiences, put his arm around his son and helped him complete that race. In a similar way, when our Heavenly Father sees our zeal and thirst for him, he cannot resist coming towards us. James 4:8 states ‘draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.’ Our father is asking us to run the race despite the suffering and persecutions that await us. He will be there for us, like he has always been.
This advent season let us evaluate whether we are running with humility towards Christ in a stable in Bethlehem or are we running after our own worldly desires? Are we doing everything we can to stay on track? Let us run a righteous race and acquire the worthy trophy that is the salvation brought by Jesus.
Let us pray
Lord, help us to see your beauty in each of your creations and give us the understanding to treat them according to your will. Give us the wisdom to recognize your mighty hand in situations of our life and to completely accept your will. Help us to draw near to you Heavenly Father. Amen.