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Track Lessons

It may surprise readers to learn that I was once on the Reinbeck High School girls’ varsity track team. Not only was I on the team, but I lettered in track all four years. True story.

I didn’t hold any records for speed. I only competed in field events—the softball throw, shot put, and discus. The only running I did in track was the one-mile warm-up that the whole team ran prior to calisthenics at practice and at track meets.

Despite the fact that I was never much of a runner, I learned a lot from being part of a track team.

I learned that it doesn’t matter how fast anyone runs their leg in a relay race if the baton is dropped in the attempted exchange between one runner and another.

I learned that track meets are won and lost by teams, not individuals. It didn’t matter how strong, talented, or fast Bobbi Billerbeck was; she couldn’t run every race or compete in every field event. Each member of our track team had to contribute in order for us to bring home a trophy.

I also learned that team success was the result of a large number of athletes contributing a variety of gifts and talents at individual meets and throughout the season. God clearly designed some athletes to be sprinters, some to be middle distance runners, and others to run marathons.

Athletes like me were never cut out to be runners, but we had the capacity to excel in field events because we had more upper body strength and the ability to master certain skills.

These track lessons wear well in congregational life, including how we approach stewardship and how we assemble the resources needed to fulfill Eden’s mission.

At Eden, sprinters are not asked to become marathoners, and hurdlers are not pushed to become shot-putters. Instead, we are asked to take account of our respective God-given gifts and contribute our best for the good of the whole. This is how we win the prize that apostle described in Philippians 3:13-14.

Thank you and God bless you for contributing to our mutual win at Eden.

Pastor Arlene