I cried watching the women’s coxed eight rowing team go for gold. Watching their hard work, determination, dedication to each other and their sport, all come together in a series of races for that moment when they hear their coxswain telling them this is it, nothing else matters but their stroke. Tears. There’s a term in rowing, according to the announcer, that is all about keeping your mind on your own stroke, the teammates that make up your boat, and your racing plan. No need to look to the right or to the left.
Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27
We are all running our own races. But not alone. Sometimes the imagery of a marathon runner is great, but it gives you a solitary vision. One person against the world. I think we should view our walk with Jesus as more of a crew race. A team watching each others’ backs. Lifting one another up. A team that cannot win without the other members rowing their race.
There will be a moment when you can’t and someone else can. Then the next time she can’t and you can. We need to work together to find our “swing.”
Don’t run this race, row this race, go this race alone. Find your people. Lift one another up in practice, in prayer, in love, to reach that finish line and hear “Well done” at the beginning of the rest of eternity.
STOP. This week’s Five Minute Friday post is in response to the prompt LIFT.
Join the conversation
Who is someone you need to call, text, go see right now to encourage her in her race?
Who is someone you could call, text, go see right now that will encourage you in yours?
The image is of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The Men’s Coxed Eight Rowing Gold Metal Finish. If you haven’t you should read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. He summarized so beautifully what I wish I could communicate about this sport, which I love because of the truth of his words:
“It was when he tried to talk about ‘the boat’ that his words began to falter and tears welled up in his eyes…Finally, watching Joe struggle for composure over and over, I realized that ‘the boat’ was something more than just the shell or its crew. To Joe, it encompassed but transcended both – it was something mysterious and almost beyond definition. It was a shared experience – a singular thing that had unfolded in a golden sliver of time long gone, when nine good-hearted young men strove together, pulled together as one, gave everything they had for one another, bound together forever by pride and respect and love. Joe was crying, at least in part, for the loss of that vanished moment but much more, I think, for the sheer beauty of it.”
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