Three young boys scrambled into the elevator at the same time. From appearances, two were brothers and the other was a friend of the older one. The youngest was on hyper drive. He was looking to wrestle the bigger boys, anywhere, anytime! Right now would be perfect. The two older ones were trying to maintain their decorum given the elevator was half full. It was a bubbling bit of chaos in a space that would normally be silent and composed.
As everyone tapped the button for their floor, they reached last. They were on Level 43. As we started up from the basement, we slowed down to stop at the first flow to pick up more passengers. The youngest issued a challenge. Race you to the top?
I looked with amazement. He was willing to take on 43 stories of stair steps. Even in my prime, I would have thought twice. I know he was young, but he had to be crazy! The older boys thought so as well, not even hinting that they would take the challenge.
As we role quickly, I could see the young boys eyes changing. He was about to do something! He verbally sparred with his older brother, a fun mix of challenges and ridicule. With the next to last stop, there was a second shift. His arms started to tighten up. His rambling chatter went silent. He was focused, ready, and going to do something.
As the door opened on 33 the only thing I saw was a blur. The echo of an “I’ll beat you” was still fading as I took a step forward. I could see the door of the stairwell slowly swinging backwards. The boy was long gone.
This boy knew he was going to win. No hesitation. No fear. No reluctance. As today begins, I wonder if there is still a young boy within me. Paul reminds me that we have “all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.” (1 Corinthians 9.24) Can I do anything less?