I was watching the Braves and Dodgers last night, and I was thinking about the struggle to be the best. Unfortunately I was cheering for the Braves and they’re out of the picture now, but I guess ultimately I didn’t really care one way or the other. It’s hard to get too excited when I’m older than all of the players! But I was reminded of a time when I was the best in a 5k road race.
I’ve never been fast enough to win a big 5k road race, but one day in the Fall of 1997 or 1998 I got it in my head that I wanted to know what it was like to be in first place, so when the race was started I took off full speed and got into first place. And it was such a fantastic feeling! Everyone was chasing me. Everyone was trying to catch up to me. I was in the lead, and I was so excited my adrenaline kept me there for an entire mile. But then my lack of experience with being in the lead caught up to me. My training was not enough to maintain my pace, so someone caught and passed me… and then someone else… and then someone else. I think by the time I made it to the finish line about 20 people had passed me, but oh, what a feeling for that first mile!
Luckily, as Christians we don’t have to be the best. We can make mistakes and get passed by others. But I think it’s still our responsibility to be the best we can be. I don’t have to be Saint Mark, but I should try to be better in some way than I was yesterday… I should strive to judge less, or pray more, or be a better neighbor in some way, or refrain from getting mad at the guy who didn’t say anything when I gave him the friendliest “Good Morning” I possibly could. We can better ourselves every day in some little way, because we have a source of inspiration that the secular world can’t comprehend. Thank you for reading my 19th blog.