With my grandchildren, everything seems to be a race! Playing basketball, first one to 21 wins! Running a race, fastest one to the fence wins! Swinging on swings, highest one wins! Even eating a cookie, first one finished wins! The list goes on and on, and, of course, there are always some tears and protests from the one who doesn’t “win.” Then, it is time for a grandmotherly hug and encouragement.
“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”Hebrews 12:1
I asked the boys how we run with patience? Their answers varied but mainly focused on running without complaining. One even said it was running the race with love. What a comforting thought!
Then, I shared a story about their momma using patience when she was a little girl(they love anything about their momma!) I told them about when she was learning to put on her underwear! They laugh and ask which superhero she had on them! I say, “ Your mom adored Care Bears!” “Awww,” they respond. I share with them that she had a difficult time pulling up her underwear and how she would get impatient and just put it on her head! More laughter! But she was determined to get it right! So, instead of pouting, I told her to say this phrase, “I think I can. I think I can.” The next time she tried to put on her underwear, she put one leg in and said “I think I can. I think I can.” Then, she put the other leg in and said, “I think I can. I think I can.” And, as she pulled her underwear up, she continued repeating that phrase over and over and over! When her underwear was on, her face beamed with pride! To run with patience requires endurance and perseverance and discipline(I think I can!) The boys run to their momma to tell her they know all about her underwear!
But, the most important lessons I want the boys to know about running the race with patience are:
-to give their best without comparing themselves to others.
-to keep going even when things are difficult and they feel like quitting.
-to feel the joy of a job well done even if it includes mistakes.
-to know “the race” is a lifetime commitment of loving Jesus.