The Homeward Stretch

Things about me I’m noticing, some by experience, other things through observation: we human beings are each uniquely different while at the same time uniquely the same. Each one of us alone, yet, in many ways, very similar to each other. The similarities may be vague and varied, but nevertheless are similarities. Thus I will assume this homeward stretch also has its similarities for each of us, and may have its beginnings anywhere in life after we have been birthed. It may manifest itself sooner for some, later for others. It may be very short or stretch on for a very long time, but happen it does. Going in for a physical exam, just to be sure everything is ok, only to discover it isn’t. Possibly forgetting important, everyday things such as which day it is, or a best friend’s name, or someone told you something you know they never did, but they know they did, or your dog seems to know you better than you know yourself. Some things may have more meaning, such as a kind hand on your shoulder that says “you can make it,” or a quiet walk on a sunny day in a familiar neighborhood, or meeting with friends on a Sunday morning, or hearing the laughter of a grandchild at play, seeing the beauty of a rose, or hearing the call of a whip-poor-will at eventide. Many of these things appear in this stretch of the race through life. I find it necessary, in this final, homeward stretch, to be sure I win, and to win, I must stay constantly in love, abiding in Christ and he in me.

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

(1 John 2:28)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

(Hebrews 12:1)

Will I have enough breath to finish the race (it’s getting shorter)? Will I be able to see the finish line (my eyesight is getting dim)? Will I hear the trumpet (my hearing is not as keen)? Can I run fast enough and far enough (my hips and knees are not as limber and are sometimes weak)? Will I remember how to get there, which track I’m running on, and who’s running with me? May I forget all that doesn’t matter and keep reaching for the prize, the high calling in Christ Jesus.

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