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Running the Race

08. March 2017

Features, Testimonies,

  —Maria Rockhill

I crouched at the starting line, poised, every nerve taut. This was it. No turning back. The shimmering heat and starting gun rose slowly, silently skyward… CRACK!

I took off like a shot, running as fast as my 13-year-old legs would carry me. My hand a vise on the baton, I bolted toward the second member of our relay team. She shifted into my line of focus as I conquered the first curve. Timing was everything. The stakes were high and precious seconds would be lost if I bungled this transfer. Runner number two started at a lope, our eyes locking as I gave her a definitive nod. Closing in, I reached forward, releasing the prized tube into her outstretched hand. She fled like a hunted gazelle.

I stood gasping, sweat streaming, time seemingly suspended as that all-important baton transferred to the third and then the final runner. Alternately holding my breath and screaming, I watched my teammate burst across the finish line just ahead of her competitors. We had done it! It was gold medal time at the Valley Nine League meet! We’d won! We. Not me.

Queries about my testimony often trigger this collaborative track and field memory along with my more recent participation in 5K competitions. Here’s why: my walk with Christ has largely reflected the biblical visual of a race. My parents’ “carrying of the faith baton” through their faithful teaching and example has channeled my life’s direction with staggering import. And amid the ...

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