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By Brian McLaren

(with comments below by the author of this blog)

***

Once upon a time, in a land of boredom and drudgery, exciting news spread: “There is going to be a race! And all who run this race will grow strong and they’ll never be bored again!” Exciting news like this had not been heard for many a year, for people experienced little adventure in this ho-hum land, beyond attending committee meetings, waiting in lines, sorting socks, and watching sitcom reruns.

Excitement grew as the day of the race drew near. Thousands gathered in the appointed town, at the appointed place. Most came to observe, skeptical about the news. “It’s too good to be true,” they said. “It’s just a silly rumor started by some teenaged troublemakers. But let’s stick around and see what happens anyway.”

Others could not resist the invitation, arriving in their running shorts and shoes. As they waited for the appointed time, they stretched and jogged in place and chattered among themselves with nervous excitement. At the appointed timethey gathered at the starting line, heard the gun go off, and knew that it was time to run. Then something very curious happened. The runners took a step or two or three across the starting line, and then abruptly stopped. One man fell to his knees, crying, “I have crossed the starting line! This is the happiest day of my life!” He repeated this again and again, and even began singing a song about how happy this day was for him. Another woman started jumping for joy. “Yes!” she shouted, raising her fist in the air. “I am a race-runner! I am finally a race-runner!” She ran around jumping and dancing, getting and giving high fives to others who shared her joy at being in the race.

Several people formed a circle and prayed, quietly thanking God for the privilege of crossing the starting line, and thanking God that they were not like the skeptics who didn’t come dressed for the race.

An hour passed, and two. Spectators began muttering; some laughed. “So what do they think this race is?” they said. “Two or three strides, then a celebration? And why do they feel superior to us? They’re treating the starting line as if itwere a finish line. They’ve completely missed the point.” A few more minutes of this silliness passed. “You know,” a spectator said to the person next to her, “if they’re not going to run the race, maybe we should.” “Why not? It’s getting boring watching them hang around just beyond the starting line. I’ve had enough boredom for one life.”

Others heard them, and soon many were kicking off their dress shoes, slipping out of their jackets, throwing all this unneeded clothing on the grass. And they ran—past the praying huddles and past the crying individuals and past the jumping high-fivers. And they found hope and joy in every step, and they grew stronger with every mile and hill. To their surprise, the path never ended—because in this race, there was no finish line. So they were never bored again.

***

I love this story. It may seem overly obvious to some, but for me it is an excellent reminder and encouragement to keep plugging along on my spiritual journey, and to not become complacent, thinking I’ve done the “minimum requirements” to get to heaven.

There is so much more to the Christian life than stepping over the starting line. It is a whole incredible journey that I don’t want to miss. I want to travel as much as I possibly can on the journey, seeing all the scenery I can, experiencing all that I can, and learning new things every day.

In this way then, I need to continue to grow and move forward in my journey. This is where spirituality comes in. As I walk/run/am carried down the road, I grow closer and closer to my saviour, thus becoming more and more like Him, glorifying His name like I was created to do.

This is my purpose.

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Today was the third day of my new job at AIM, and the first day of driving myself to and from the new job.

Considering the stress and road rage that I’ve experienced from other drivers in TO, I think it’s pretty good that I only got honked at once when not going instantaneously when the light turned green. He must have had a bad day at work…

So, I have joined the ranks of grown-ups everywhere, doing the daily grind of commuting to a job in Toronto from the suburbs. It’s not a bad life. In fact, I rather enjoy it. I willingly left my higher-paying job 2 kms from home for this one. I still can’t believe how lucky I am (or “blessed” to use the Christian lingo) to be working at AIM. I absolutely love it. I know that it will have its tedious moments, but overall I am simply thrilled that I get to think, work, and talk about missions in Africa all day long.

After leaving work, I stopped at Tyndale to pick up my husband. We headed home, sat down to reheated leftovers for supper, and watched the local news.

The epitomy of grown-up-ness.

Despite reaching this time of grown-up-ness in my life, I am determined to never quit having fun, being spontaneous, or enjoying this life that God gave me. I love my life.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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