Article by Pastor Patrick Nix
It’s Saturday morning, 9:30 a.m., and I’m watching nearly a dozen kids sweat as they lap the track at the Spencer County High School. The heat is already making it difficult for them. I’m just glad I’m watching from my van – and not out there with them! I never did have a desire to run, but I know some people who are quite different. They run for the fun of it. They don’t run to get in shape, they don’t run for any event. They just enjoy running. In my opinion, they are just a little weird!
The Relay Race
I was at the track to meet a coach and to pick up some batons. You know, those short metal tubes that runners carry around the track, then hand off to the next runner. I’ve been thinking a lot about my race – my lap in God’s relay race. I believe that each of us are in a race. God has set the beginning and the end, but each of us has a specific job to accomplish – a part to play – a piece to add. When I’m gone, there will be somebody else sitting at my desk, some other family in my house, somebody else with ‘my’ baton.
What is my baton? What has been handed to me by my parents? What did my counselors and teachers invest in me? What do I now possess that needs to be hand-delivered to the next runner? We have such an opportunity to help the next generation get ahead – but it’s probably not how you think. The secret is not in what we can leave for them in a bank account. It’s not even their education. You might be reading this and asking, “What could be more important than providing for my child’s financial, social, and educational future?” The answer: providing for his spiritual future. And it comes down to one moment – the hand-off.
Hand-offs come successfully when one runner, slipping in behind another, with a firm grasp on the baton, passes it to the open hand of the next runner. It takes dozens of times in practice to get it right – the pace, the grasp, the exchange.
In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul challenges his son in the faith, “The things that thou has heard of me…commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” We need to take more time and concentrate more efforts on the next leg of the race. For the sake of those who will come behind us – and those who will come behind them.
You cannot pass on what you do not have. Do you have a firm grasp of your salvation? Do you know what the Bible says about relationships, life, honesty, money, and happiness? Is this something you’ve transferred to your children? a co-worker? a neighbor? I want to be like the Apostle Paul and say, “I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) Will you join me on the track? How are you choosing to spend your time?