Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chariots of Fire

It has been a season of accomplishments for our family. Last week I won three silver medals in the SilverArts competition for two paintings and a poem. I then won three gold medals in the Senior Games for the 100m, 200m, and 400m races thereby qualifying for the state games in September. Max was named Most Valuable Long Distance Runner (MVR) for the track team. Earlier this year he won the same award for cross country, too. (Our family has now won it 8 times.) A few days ago we learned that Allegra was one of only two students to score a 4 for the standarized writing test for the entire 10th grade class. So what does all of this mean? In a sense....nothing. But what have we learned from the process? Medals and awards can't begin to tell the story. I wanted to run in order to understand what Paul says in scripture about "running the good race." What exactly does that mean? I now know. I understand the discipline, the training, the pain, the ups and downs of running a race. I can understand now why Paul compares our "walk" with the Lord as running a race. It isn't all smooth and easy, but it is exhilarating. Even when I started to collapse after finishing the 400, as my heart and head were pounding, I was thinking, "I did it!"

When I started training I told the Lord that I wanted to finish my life well. I want to be a good example to my children and grandchildren. I want to age gracefully and proudly. I want to embrace every day of my life. In the movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell, who won the Olympic gold and later became a missionary, says: God made me for a purpose. He also made me fast. And when I run I also feel His pleasure." Everyday I want to give God back the pleasure He has given me when I run, paint, write, love people, and enjoy the life He has provided. So when I look at the medals, it isn't about winning. It's about the story.

I'm Going Home

In one week I leave for home. Going home is always a special time for me. I love the place where I was born and raised in a little town called Royersford, near Valley Forge, Pa. My brothers are still in the area as are my cousins and friends. My parents are gone now, so going home is bittersweet without their presence, but the memories keep everyone and everything alive. God has given me His special love for the people and the place. I have a heart to see the people saved, especially the people I grew up with. I have spent my life with them, and I don't want to spend eternity without them.

This time I will be speaking to several churches and groups. God has opened doors for me to share His love. He has a word for the people. And as for me, as Chris Daughtry sings, "I'm going home, to a place where I belong."