Moving Along The Track

   This past Sunday in Children’s Chapel, the children, Bernie and I looked at a drawing of a race track that Olivia Howard had just meticulously outlined in a deep red marker on poster board.  We saw the starting gate, first turn, back stretch, last turn, home stretch and the finish line.  The more we looked at it, the clearer it became a picture of life, even though life is not to be raced through. 
     One by one, children took different colors of markers and began to write or draw significant
events along the path.  Of course there was birth, baptism, adoption, and many firsts.  There was the first step, first word, first tooth, first day at school, even the first time watching TV, not to mention all of the firsts in sports.  There were some harder firsts as we made a little distance.  There was the first death of a pet, and the first death of someone they knew.  There were even some broken friendships at such a young age. 
     The children did not get too far along the track, the farthest point was a 5th grade graduation.  Bernie and I were able to go on for quite a while.  We are perhaps on that back stretch.  I don’t think we are on the home stretch but we never know.  Looking at the track, I could see how each point prepared me in either a positive or a negative way for the next.  I am always sad when children go through hard times but I know that if they have support and love, they will have strength to make it through even harder things later.
     This past Sunday was also Ascension Sunday.  Jesus was at the finish line and was leaving his friends.  That was sad.  The good news was that he would still be connected with them.  He told them to stay here in the city and wait for what he would be sending them.  He said it would be power from on high. Because of this power that he has sent to all of us, we can move along the track of life knowing that we are never alone and that we have what we need to get through.  We have the Holy Spirit.  We can also know that life will continue, just as his does.
     I wonder if we need to move along the track with the end in mind.  If we do this, we will live our lives in such a way that our finish could be a gift to others, just as Jesus’s life continues to be a gift to us.  

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