Constant beeps and nurses shuffling around is bad enough for a sick little girl to try to get some rest, but then throw in am oxygen mask and IV line and being tied down is rough. For dad and daughter. Yet the displeasure must be tolerated in order to get better. Everyone must go through trials: some due to their own making and some through no fault of their own. It just is.
I liken our sojourn here to a sprinter. The Sprinter trains and stumbles at times through injury. Sometimes he doesn’t win, but he keeps at it. If he is good enough, and can refine his skill, he just may be good enough to reach the pinnacle of his sport. Family sacrifices are made by mom and dad to let the Sprinter reach his goal, even though their own circumstances were low. Years pass, and finally, he wins a shot at running in the Olympics.
The Sprinter takes his lane, and then, in front of crowds he could only dream about, the starting gun is fired. Its time to go for the win after getting through the prelim races.
Turns one and two find him in a good position and his confidence rises. The adrenaline kicks in to supplement the trained skill.
Down the backstretch, he is moving himself into a better position, looking strong and confident. Years of sweat, sacrifice, and failures are now ready to pay off. He gets through Turn 3, and suddenly, he pops up awkwardly reaches down to one leg, and collapses to the ground. In agony, he tries to stand up and run, but the pain overcomes him and he falls again. The others continue on, leaving him alone in his failure and agony of mind and body on the world stage.
A man eventually walks up to him, reaches down, and tries to lift the Sprinter up. The Sprinter shoves him away , as he wanted to wallow in his misery. The man then bends down, and says something to the Sprinter. The Sprinter looks up, and sees the man is his father, and with his fathers help, starts to rise.
The father does not call for a stretcher or ambulance. To the astonishment of the crowd, with,the Sprinters arm around his shoulder, makes his way towards the finish line. The Sprinter is in great pain and anguish, but his father bears him up and continued to move towards the finish line.
The crowd now realizes what is going on, and begins to earnestly cheer the father and son on. They yell out encouragement to the Sprinter, who is slowly making his way to the end. Finally, they reach the finish line where medical personnel takes the Sprinter away.
We are that Sprinter. We go through our lives making sacrifices, suffering trials and tribulations, and when victory seems near, tragedy strikes, and shakes our faith, and makes it difficult to move on.
The man represents our Lord, who bears us up in our infirmities and suffering. He doesn’t remove the pains from our lives, but he does enough to bear us up, to give us just enough to finish our race. He doesn’t remove all pain and suffering to make it easy on us, but he gives enough for us to get there. Despite our pains and sufferings, the Lord has descended below all. He has taken upon himself our sins, our pains, our anguish to the point where he cried out “my God my God, why hast thou forsaken me? ”
He now lives to see us through our journey here, to be with him at the end. And if we do our part, we can use the words of Paul: I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. And may He smile at you and say, well done thou good and faithful servant. Well done. For I was slain for all, but now liveth. Come, dwell with me that thou suffereth and go out no more.
Finish the race everyone. Finish the race.