The boot award

When I was in college I ran one year of cross country. I wasn’t really good enough to make the team, but at the last second one of their recruits switched universities, and so since the coach knew I liked to run he let me join the team. I was never in the top half of finishers, so my times never mattered, but I had fun and met some great friends.

But there was one time when I felt like my effort was noticed and appreciated. In one of my first races of the season, I had about 400 yards to go when I noticed a kid from another school was right beside me, so I increased my pace … as did he; so I ran even faster … as did he; by the time we got to the finish line we were both sprinting at top speed, and I only beat him by a nose. My reward for that great effort was the biggest headache I’ve ever had in my life.

But then, at our next cross country practice, I was given a very nice surprise. I got the “boot” award for best effort in the race. And yes, it was actually a boot affixed to a plaque which I was allowed to keep for the week. It was really nice, though, to be noticed and publicly appreciated. I think they even clapped for me. It made me feel included and a very real part of the team.

Unfortunately, as Christians in the coronavirus age, I wonder if we are doing enough to show our Creator that He is loved and appreciated. I understand the reasoning for closing churches, but does God? Is He okay with his creations avoiding public, group worship of Him because they’re afraid of getting sick and dying? I understand avoiding certain death. I wouldn’t jump in front of a moving bus to cross to the church on the other side, but I really think we should be worshiping semi normally when we’re talking about something that kills less than 3 percent of the people who are infected by it and doesn’t affect others at all.

I mean no disrespect to people who have been directly affected by corona, but at the same time I want God to be proud of my effort in recognizing His Greatness in a public way. I don’t want the Deity who let His son die a horrible death on the cross for us see us shrinking away from a virus. Thank you for reading my 12th blog.

Mark Inglis

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