I’m not a runner. You could say I’m not built for speed, but the Gospel reading this weekend made me imagine a different kind of race, and one that we all run: life. In the reading, from 2 Timothy 4, St. Paul describes running a race with endurance, and in the same reading, he describes how he kept going in his faith journey even when there was no one there beside him.
The reading says, “I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.” And later, he says, “No one stood by me the first time I defended myself, all deserted me…But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength…”
The image that came to my mind was that of a baton-race, in which people have to pass a baton on to the next runner in order to win. What happens when you have no one to pass the baton to? What if you feel as if you are running in life with no help? I think what St. Paul was saying in this reading is that we never run alone, and that God is always there for us to lean on, especially when we feel we don’t have the strength in ourselves to continue.
Even though I count myself blessed to have great friends and a great support network, I sometimes find that there are times when people are busy or not around when I feel like I need them; and other times when I don’t want to burden others with my problems or difficulties. But God, he is always there, and he is always there and never tires of us turning to Him.
I take great comfort in that.