Several friends have recently finished life’s race. Whatever their score is, no matter how much or little they have left, even if they were almost across the line, they will labor no more. In the automatic reflection which comes, it is easy to wonder if we really understand what success means in life.
I know I have role models in my life. Some have been there for years – representing something I aspire to be. Usually the heroes in my life have weaknesses, yet there is at least one aspect of their life, something in the essence of what they are, that I admire. Yet in the context of the recent examination, a quiet questioning of what I have come to assume is normal, I’m not sure my models really understood what the finish line is.
My confusion isn’t new. For centuries people have longed to be the best. Their models represented everything they longed for. The aspiration was tangible. The thirst was visible, everyone could see and understand. And yet models fail. One record reflects the questioning which comes when the myths are exposed. “When Egypt gets the report on Tyre, what wailing! what wringing of hands! Visit Tarshish, you who live on the seacoast. Take a good, long look and wail—yes, cry buckets of tears! Is this the city you remember as energetic and alive, bustling with activity, this historic old city, expanding throughout the globe, buying and selling all over the world?” (Isaiah 23.5-7)
For those remaining, who have yet to cross the line, we have an opportunity to run the course. We are not bound by yesterday, we have the present. We don’t need to be shaped by the past. We are living with freedom and opportunities. We can create new paths, fresh actions, and communities others long to be a part of. Everything is possible.
I find myself strengthened by the examples of those ending their race. They stood tall, held the faith, and continued to pass out Hope. This is something I can do in the moment at hand.
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