The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Life is like a relay race. As we grow up, others are already running, and the day comes when they pass the baton.
In the athletic competitions of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the US relay team for the 4 x 100m run was without doubt the best.
Some even said it was the best in history. CARL LEWIS and CALVIN SMITH were among the runners, but they were disqualified.
One of the team members handed over the baton outside the 20m limit. In relay races, the key to success lies not in the individual members - important as they are - but in passing the baton properly.
This meditation could be aimed mostly at the elderly among us, but I think we can all learn from this anecdote. In many ways, life is like a relay race. As we grow up, others are already running, and the day comes when they pass the baton.
Then we run till we can hand it over to the next generation. This is true in all aspects of life, as well as in our spiritual life within the church.
Young people should receive the baton from those who are running now. We can't just stand there while the older folk run out of energy; if we do, we'll all be the losers.
Each one should run at certain times in their lives; no-one can nor should hide from their responsibility.
You must start to train now, be useful and warm up so you can receive the baton at the proper time. If you're not ready when the time comes, you'll have a hard time winning the race.
Older people should help the young to catch the baton. If you're old enough to pass it on, don't keep running at your own pace.
Remember that younger teammates may run faster than you. You've run a long way; you've done your bit. Help someone else to run!
And then, don't just stand there, thinking no one needs you any more because you've passed on the baton.
Remember that the young need someone to run beside them for the first few yards, weeping with them, fighting alongside them.
They even need support in their mistakes, until they can run alone! That's the only way each one can learn to pass the torch to another; without the help of more experienced runners, it's almost impossible.
So many relays, so many situations in life from which to learn the rules of the race: at work, in church, in God's service. Be a team player! Get ready to receive the baton, run on and hand it over! Ultimate victory depends on you.