My husband and I have applied for Amazing Race Canada! This may not seem like big news. And if we don’t make it on the show, then it will be even less consequential news. But right now, during these weeks of waiting, the possibility of competing in The Race is never far from my mind.
I love The Race. I LOVE it! I can’t watch without mentally competing in every aspect of it. There are very few challenges that don’t look like fun to me. I’m not particularly athletic (read: I’m not particularly fast) but I’m quite flexible and I’m freakishly strong and I’m stubborn as all get-out. It all just looks like so much fun – yes, even with the exhaustion and the stress of competition and the frustration of mistakes. Fun! I really want to play.
Fortunately, Pat and I are of like mind. So we had our kids take some pictures of us to submit as our official head shots. Our 12-year-old took this one. I was willing for it to be our team picture because it’s unfathomably rare to get a great picture of Pat – smiling and eyes open. If you’ve read my previous posts about my struggle with feeling pretty, you’ll understand what a sacrifice this was for me, what with the voluminous chin-skin and all.
Pat’s solo picture was taken by our 5-year-old. When Pat saw what a good job I did at colouring out the picture frame behind his head, he asked if I could also digitally shave him. Um, no. This’ll have to do.
And then we made our little audition video. Nothing fancy. No costumes, stunts, gimmicks or special effects…just us. Now that you’ve watched it, go ahead and watch it again. In fact, you should let it play through a few times. And share it on facebook. I’m really nervous that the youtube views are somehow going to count for something or influence the judges’ decision. Maybe they won’t, but still, I won’t complain if you watch it lots.
As I contemplated how on earth I could give this post some sort of spiritual depth instead of having it be solely about getting youtube views (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it occurred to me that the Bible talks about the amazing race. The Apostle Paul compares life to a race in 2 Timothy 4* and in 1 Corinthians 9**. And the writer of Hebrews gave us this oft-quoted, inspiring passage in chapter 12: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (NIV)
Many teachers and preachers, when expounding on these verses, are quick to point out that the Christian life is like a marathon, not a sprint. And I confess, I’ve often thought of it that way. Yes, it’s all about endurance and perseverance, not a quick 100m dash to the finish. But today’s contemplations have me thinking that it’s not like a marathon at all! The Amazing Race is a much better picture of what our life-long journey is like. It does require endurance and perseverance. But it also requires periods of rest. And we can’t do it without our teammates. And there are daunting obstacles to be faced and challenges that we never would have thought ourselves capable of overcoming.
The Amazing Race makes these verses much more relatable to me. I know that the depth of my understanding has been far more limited than someone who actually runs marathons (or runs at all, for that matter). But being able to picture myself in the Amazing Race has been a very cool mental association for me as I also continue in the life-race that is before me.
With that, oh faithful readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed this fresh perspective on these verses. And I also hope you’ll watch our video again. We are delightfully cute and I don’t know how CTV could possibly resist us.
*2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV) “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
**1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV) “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. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”