I remember my first trip to the greyhound racetrack. Even though I had read about the races, had fun with retired dogs, and had friends that went regularly, I did not know what I should expect. Whatever it was, it wasn’t.
The track on London’s south side was a world in itself. Most striking, each in her or his way cared. The person taking your ticket asked if I needed directions. Guys standing need those taking the wagers explained how the system worked. Even the people hawking food where interested in chatting you up. It was as if everyone wanted to make sure you enjoyed yourself so that you would come back.
In the first race, I was instantly caught in the excitement. I had picked a number at random, put the lowest amount I could on it, and watched my wager chase an artificial rabbit around a circle. My heart raced out of control in my throat. Would it? Could it? Might I win?
No, I did not win. I did not win in that race but I did get lucky in others.
I walked out then, feeling much like I do at times now. Life is often a circle where we chase objects of our creation. In the greater story, the chase is not important. In the larger scheme of life, the goal is not the one we aspire to hold closest to our heart. We are, much as the world within a world at the greyhound racetracks, playing at life because this is what we do. I believe there is more to life than chasing objects around a circle.
We can make a difference to and for others.
We can pursue ideas that matter.
We can win some of the battles at hand.
David reminds me “when I chased my enemies I caught them; I didn’t let go till they were dead men.” (Psalm 18.37) He went on to acknowledge that he did not do it alone. He had help. The story replays now. I can play, fight, and occasionally win, God willing.