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Indy 500

As I sit down to compose my one hundredth blog, I feel like celebrating. A modest little happy dance is in order, I think. It may not make your heart pound, but this marker has me savoring a profound sense of accomplishment. The process of creating a website is truly tedious and intimidating, so to attempt the high-fence of a blog as well was definitely pushing it. I had moments of absolute terror. Blogging is the hip, cutting edge purview of blithe Millennials, so you have to have some sort of nerve to jump in the water, especially if you’re not that great of a swimmer.

By definition, a writer is essentially, “one who writes”. For good or bad, you actually have to put metaphoric pen to paper and simply have at it. This is not a delicate, delightful, easy process, not if you’re attempting to do it with any kind of finessed respect for the art, individual style or integrity regarding your material. Serious sweat-equity is involved; ideas to incubate and skills to discipline. Ignorance is bliss, as once you wade in thigh-deep, you realize how treacly the mire of mental ingenuity really is. From someone who has never really considered herself an author, nor aspired to the title, suddenly, here I am. My own achievement sits at my feet like an adoring puppy, eyes alight for more action.

It may not seem like it to innocent by-standers, but blogging is a high-velocity sport. As soon as you are finished one post, the back-burners of your mind start revving up the engine for the next conception. It’s so relentless you dream about it in the night. This is a race you run against yourself, winding ferociously around the same circuit again and again. With the recent event of the 2019 Indianapolis 500, similar parallels come to mind.

While I’m an admirer of many kinds of athletics, race-car driving has never enthralled me. An introvert like myself fails to appreciate the accumulated charms of two-hundred thousand screeching, sweaty, beer-soaked fans baking in the summer heat of a scorching tarmac, replete with high-pitched engines and toxic fumes. It's a stupid amount of risk for the reward. Seems asinine to me, although apparently the skill level required to navigate the danger, strategize your moves and bring these super-charged, high-performance vehicles to the victory lap is quite considerable.

It occurs to me that what I’m attempting is much like the intensity of this most venerable of automobile competitions. A blog-writer, like a race-car driver, is endeavoring to take tighter corners, slam down into higher speeds on the straight-a-ways and clip off precious nanoseconds from the best time. It’s powering through the gears with smooth, satisfying precision. You need solid basic skill, a passionate ardor, a stellar ground crew and an excellent sponsor. Kiss the pavement before you mount, because once they strap you into that aerodynamic hot-seat, there’s no going back. Unwavering concentration is required, partnered with superb reflexes and ridiculous verve. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, stay in the stands.

Paul the Apostle was the ancient equivalent, cutting-edge blogger of his day. He was in constant contact with newly-birthed ecclesia regarding difficult faith/gentile/Jewish conundrums long before they tracked back to mother Jerusalem. Though not actually a disciple of Jesus’ original group, he made up for lost time in being the Lord’s chosen vessel for oracle and revelation. He was out on the verge with a passion, pushing missionary ingenuity far ahead of the curve. He too, likened his journey of faith to a race. To the Roman world, the sport of the colosseum was a vivid picture; dread to Christians and weekend amusement to Pagans.

Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious. A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing constant self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever. For that reason, I don’t run just for exercise or box like one throwing aimless punches, but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 TPT

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim 4:7-8 KJV

Not to equate myself with this singular paragon of the faith, I can nonetheless share his sentiment. There are concentrated seasons in our lives we feel locked-into; despairing as we find no relenting in the constant pressure, the bone-shaking vibrations. There's no graceful exit out of the fray. It takes all we possess to simply stay the course. Then suddenly, the tempo changes as the Lord opens seasons of refreshing.

There's no champagne corks popping on my behalf today. Very few understand the triumph I savor as I look back. Most of life's singular accolades are often enjoyed only by yourself and the Lord, or at most a close handful.

The run has been exhilarating, but I think I need a pit-stop. Pry me out of this crucible of a cock-pit and let me stretch. Time to cool the engine. Change the tires. Flip the hood for a good, long look. Recalibrate.

I’ll see you all again in a few weeks.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me— the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24 NIV


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