Running the race
A long time ago, I remember the sheer joy of a ringer who managed to complete her first touch of Grandsire Doubles unaided. The pleasure was infectious for those in the tower and she remarked afterwards: ‘It’s like running in a race and I feel I have crossed the finishing line!’ I have often thought of those words. Some people would probably argue that the finishing line is a long way beyond doing your first touch – maybe ringing your first peal. If this is the case, it was a very long race for me, as 13 years elapsed between learning to ring and doing my first peal!
Outside the ringing chamber, life can sometimes be visualised as running a race. In the Bible’s letter to the Hebrews, the writer encourages its readers to throw off the things that hinder us in life and to run the race set before us. A theme of this passage is endurance. Things can be hard and life can sometimes seem to be an uphill struggle – but we must feel encouraged to stick at it and to summon the endurance to keep going. If we can do this, we shall reach the finishing line. We may not be the first there, but does that really matter? The fact is that, through our own endurance, we have made it – and for that we can feel a justifiable sense of achievement!
Reader at St Peter’s Church, Formby in the Diocese of Liverpool