I hate running. I’m just not very good at it. I don’t like dealing with my shin splints, nor do I like being lost in my own thoughts for a long period of time. Now I get it, running can be therapeutic for some people, but for me running is the last thing that you’ll find me doing. But it wasn’t always that way, I used to run on the track team for my school and we used to train every day in Tai Tam Country Park!
Training was interesting. We’d run the same path every day and evaluate how we paced at every turn. Did we run the hill too quickly? How fast did we start? Did we need to pick up the pace near the end? A bevy of information, processed and reflected upon, so that we could run the race better next time.
It certainly feels like we are ramping up for another race doesn’t it? The city is opening up: work activities are resuming, people are beginning to invite you out to dinner, and the MTR is as crowded as ever. And while there is an excitement over things returning back to normal, there is also a sense of dread towards the impending frenetic pace of life.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25a, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.”
I think it’s interesting that Paul focuses on training. While there are many aspects to training, one crucial aspect is reevaluating past races. Perhaps there is an opportunity here for all of us to reflect deeply about how we had been running the race before the COVID crisis. Were we running too fast? Did we prioritise our family? Did we spend time with God? Was church community just a Sunday event or was it truly a community we did life with?
There is a great danger of falling back into the same routines as if the crisis never happened. The past three months have certainly been difficult, but it provided us an opportunity to rethink how we did life, and who we did it with. Let us be intentional about evaluating our past, so that we can run this next race faithfully.