Cherry Blossom 5k in Wilmington, Delaware
9:30am on a Saturday.
This was a blah race. Not because anything bad happened but because nothing happened. I didn’t run faster or harder or grow stronger. I didn’t make friends or enemies or intentionally trip the sorority girl running in a hot pink tutu and “i run for rum” tshirt. Nothing happened.
This is Easter weekend. On the Christian calendar, today is just a “blah” day – the day nothing happened – after Good Friday but before the Resurrection. No easter bunnies or candy baskets or empty tombs. Just… nothing. It feels vacant. Hapless. Hopeless.
We all know the feeling of hopelessness. Athletes know it when injury strikes. Pulled muscles, broken bones, broken spirits – wondering if we can get back to where we were or if this is it. I remember when my father was diagnosed with Parkinsons. The first year, he won the gold medal in the masters track and field race for the 70+ year old sprinters. The next year he came in second. Then we called him the “fastest white man” then the “fastest minister” then the “fastest white minister”…… As an athlete, hope is necessary to get better, stronger, faster. When our bodies don’t respond, it feels hopeless.
Greg Gadson was a star football player and co captain of the team at West Point in the late 1980’s. He served as a Field Artillery Officer in the Army for more than 20 years. In 2007 he lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Bagdad. Col. Gadson used the spiritual muscle he developed as a cadet and in the years to follow to turn his hopelessness into heroics. He has since become a motivational speaker and continues to be a great athlete, competing in races and inspiring others to run to win.
As Christians, we have hope because the day after, the Son rose. Whatever you believe, you can have hope knowing the sun will rise. Like the daffodils emerging after months of grey and snow, we can come back from rest or injury and blossom. Tomorrow is a new day – fresh – with no mistakes in it.
Don’t screw it up.