Monday, November 14, 2005

Life is fleeting

Yesterday, my wife and I participated in a cycling race just north of Pretoria, South Africa. We enjoy cycling together on a tandem.

About 1.5-2Kms after the start of the race we passed what at the time seemed to be someone who fell with their tandem. There were already quite a few other cyclists there, so we decided to carry on. After the race we heard from a cyclist that started in another batch 15 minutes after us that when he passed the scene there was an ambulance there and the paramedics were doing CPR on the man. Well, this morning on my way to work I sa
w newspaper headlines that said, "Heart claims man in Pretoria cycle race."

This got me thinking. I know! It is an unusual experience for me and it sometimes hurts to think.

What struck me is that life is so fleeting. By that stage of the race a person's heart rate is not even that high yet and the duration of the heart rate is not that long yet. So, my conclusion is that it was not the cycling exercise that killed him! It just seems that he must have been on his way to a heart attack anyhow. Be that as it may, he died!

One of the things that also happened during this race is that it was a double race. There was a 100Km race and a 50Km race going on. We participated in the 50Km. That meant that the 50Km riders had to turn around at some point to make the ride back. However, the turn around point was not that well marked at all for the front riders to see and they missed the turn around. For the slow ones like us, by the time we got there, there was a person with loudspeakers anouncing that the 100Km riders should go straight and that the 50Km riders should cross the bridge over the freeway and go back on the other side of the freeway. That meant that several riders of the 50Km race did not turn around there and went on. They ended doing about 10Km further than they should have. This was the only way my wife and I could beat my wife's sister and her husband on their tandem. Otherwise, they probably would have beaten us by about 20 minutes. So, officially we beat them by almost a minute!

However, there was a lot of complaining going on by the riders that were not told to turn and instead went a little (10Km) further. There were complaints by some Christians there who were doing well up till the "point-of-no-return" but then ended in the second half of the riders and never got to do that well.

This got me thinking too! Ouch!

If Christians involved in sport put the same amount of effort they put into sport into furthering the kingdom of God, surely we would start seeing a change around us. These people would then become the most on-fire Christians around and they would end up evangelizing their communities in no time! Naturally, if I have to use this standard for my wife and I, we would accomplish nothing in the kingdom of God since we really do not put much effort into our sport!

The question is: "Should they rather put that effort into the kingdom of God?"

If we see how fleeting life is and how fragile the human body is and how quickly one can be taken from this world, then shouldn't we stop wasting our time on things that do not matter at all in this life and start getting busy with the things of the life hereafter?

Why should we then be bothered so much about getting a good position in a race that is ultimately so meaningless, while most participants in the race are going to hell anyway?

What do the kingdom scales tell us about ourselves? Is our weight of effort on the side of the kingdom of God, or on the opposite side?

Just thinking...

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