Thursday, August 27, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

We all remember these words. They began all the fun races between us and our friends. Our spiritual life is a race. At least it has the same characteristics as Saint Paul himself exclaims, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4.7) Our race toward life in the Kingdom of God, like the 4-person relay in track and field, is not run in isolation but embraced along with our fellow Orthodox Christians as we, “being many, are one body.” (1 Corinthians 12.12) And just as in the 4-person relay we each have our own unique starting point but we share a single common finish line.

The Gospel is a challenge to each of us to take account of our own starting point and run the race with our fellow teammates toward our common goal – Life in Christ. We each have our own history and our own challenges in the race, but only together are we able to reach the finish line. It doesn’t matter who we are, there is always somebody either behind us or ahead of us. The rich man had accomplished many great works in the Law when he approached Christ thinking maybe he was finished when he asked, “What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19.20) “Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor.’” (Matthew 19.21)

Today we each gather at the end of our year to ask the Lord, what do we still lack? Some of us lack more than others but all of us lack something. Let us not be discouraged and let us help each other win the race. Where we were someone now is. Where we wish to be someone now is. BUT, WHERE WILL WE BE in the future?

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