Run your race


I looked up from my computer to witness a scene that warmed my heart and made me smile. Out the window and across the yard, our son was driving the tractor while my Sweet Al sat in the front-mounted bucket. His white tennis shoes dangled over the front edge as they crept along.

I thought to myself, “This is precious. Our son is giving my Sweet Al a ride.” He brought his dad home for lunch, then gently lowered the bucket so Al could stand up. When did roles change where the son is taking care of the father?

During one of our morning Bible studies, we read a scripture about running a race of faith. I asked my Sweet Al what he took away from what he learned.

He said, “Stephen carries the ladder and tools for me and tells me to carry the cold drinks. Although I can still carry everything, he doesn’t let me. But, I have faith that he will take care of things the same way that I would.”

As for me, I took away, “We are still in the race.” It’s the same race that we have always run, but things look a little different from how they were. We haven’t checked out because of our age, we haven’t even left the track. We are just not laying down rubber like we used to.

Fifty years ago, we had four children in tow, pulling them in a red wagon and playing with them in the park. Forty years ago, we were taking them to piano lessons, Sunday school and summer camp. Thirty years ago, we were planning weddings and giving our children career advice.

Twenty years ago, I was teaching Bible study and giving art lessons while my sweet Al was chopping down the forest to build his barn.

We have run each phase of this marathon with faith. When we stumbled, we jumped back up on our feet. There was never even a thought of checking out. All we knew was to continue moving forward.

We recently watched a movie produced by Tim Tebow called “Run The Race.” Young all-star football athlete Zach Truett is sidelined after a knee injury. His hope for a scholarship and a ticket out of his small town is destroyed. After a series of difficult circumstances, he takes on a new interest, opening doors to a whole new future.

Our race today entails a lot of praying for our children and grandchildren. In fact, this leg of the race feels more like a relay where we turn over the baton to our next generation.

Regardless of the course, we are reminded of those who stopped and gave us a helping hand along the way. When we didn’t feel like we could run another mile, there were those who gave us a cup of water and cheered us on.

Final brushstroke: We may have a few more little quirks than we used to. Temperaments change and we have even had to learn how to pace ourselves. But there is only one person who matters, the one standing at the finish line. I can hear him saying it now: “You came over the finish line hobbling and out of breath, but you ran your race well, good and faithful servant.”

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