'The Race' by Martin Day
Standard introduction and entrance (Compere: Look we’ve picked up that there’s a spaceship approaching. Oh yes look it’s on the camera. It must be Pod, our friend from outta space. Projector shows external scenes with spaceship landing. Pod bangs on the door, Compere opens the door, Pod enters)
Hello Pod, it's good to see you again
I agree. I was just thinking how good I was looking this morning.
Yes, I must say you are looking very healthy today (Pod flapping arms)... maybe even a bit fitter than usual?
Ah well, I'm glad you noticed. I've been taking a little exercise
No-no. I'm no good with sums. Didn't you hear me I'm taking about exercise not maths!
OK.. So what exercises have you been doing?
Well I don't see the point of wearing myself out so I'm just sticking with the easy stuff; like sit-downs and standing-on-the spot
I guess we all need to start somewhere
Oh that's not the start, that's the whole thing. It's going really well. In fact, I found that I was doing most of the exercises already. I reckon just about anyone could manage it. Hey, I could even make my own fitness video... 2, 3, 4.
Oh Pod, I don't think you understand about fitness. You get fit to get stronger and healthier. Once you are fit you'll be able to run a race without having to keep stopping for a rest.
Race! Who said anything about a race? I've never heard of one of those. What is a race, Sara?
Have you never seen a race Pod? Let me see. A race is something that has a start, a middle and a finish. The idea is to start when the starter says, “go” and then the people in the race all start running towards the finish line. The idea is to run as fast as you can, to get to the finish. The winner is the one who gets to the finish line first.
Wow! that sounds like hard work. Is there only one winner?
Yes, but depending on how long the race is, just making it to the finish line is something to celebrate. In a race like a marathon, everybody that finishes is a winner.
Really? Everyone? How far is a marathon race then?
You are joking! No one could run that far. I don’t think I could even run the point 2 bit! Surely lots of people get tired and give up.
That’s right Pod that’s the difference between being in the race and being out of it. You have to be fit and determined if you are going to run a race like that, and you have to go at the right pace. If you set off too fast you will get tired out and might not finish.
No, no I’m sorry, but I don’t understand racing at all. Why would anyone with half a brain want to put themselves though that? You’re getting me all puzzled, and I come to see you to get unpuzzeled. You’re really no good at explaining are you Sara. Not like Wendy, now she’s very good at explaining. Where is Wendy anyway?
Well I’m very sorry Pod, but Wendy’s away so you’ll have to make do with me. Maybe you’ll see if I compare it to something. Yes. It’s a bit like living life with Jesus.
Yes running a race is like following Jesus.
You mean it’s like Jesus is the lead runner showing everyone the way.
Yes you could say that. He has certainly run the race before us and experienced life and showed us how to live well, like running a race well.
And what about the start what is the start like? And who says “Go”?
The start is like when you decide that you want to live your life in tune with Jesus. When you find out about the Christian race and you decide you want to enter. And it’s God’s Holy Spirit that say “Go”, because when God the Father accepts you into his family, he give you his Holy Spirit, and the Spirit give you the energy and desire to run.
This is more like it! What about the middle, what’s that then.
Well the middle of a race is like living within Jesus’ love and following his lead. With Jesus there’s the real sense of movement, of going somewhere, of having a purpose and a somewhere you’re heating for.
Yes, Yes and what about the finish, what is the finish. Tell me, tell me. This is great!
Well the finish of the race would be like getting to heaven. Of arriving in God’s own home, in his own City and his own Land. And there you’d get the reward for all your hard work, and you’d get to meet the Lord Jesus face to face, and join in the celebration banquet. The bible says it’ll be like a wedding feast.
Wow, now that sounds like a race worth running. Image meeting God face to face. But there’s one thing that I’m a bit worried about, Sara.
What’s that Pod?
What about the losers? Every race has losers doesn’t it? I mean not everyone can win. And what about those people that aren’t fit, who don’t make it to the finish?
Well I think maybe you understand about racing now Pod. But perhaps you don’t quite understand the Christian race yet. That’s something we can talk about the next time you visit. I think maybe it’s time for you go now; you don’t want to miss your orbit….
No, no don’t stop now, Sara. You must tell me what happens to the runners that don’t make it. I can’t wait ’til next time, you must tell me now, please! Where’s Jon. You can make her tell me can’t you? Please.
OK, but I thought it was just racing that we were talking about.
Racing. Stuff racing. This is important!
Well this is where the Christian race is different to a marathon. There is only one winner. And the winner is the first one to get to the finish, the first one to get to heaven: That was Jesus. And Jesus wants to share his win with every one that will enter the race. He gives the Holy Spirit to everyone who starts the race, the same Holy Spirit that carried Him to the finish line. So in a way it’s like we’ve already won. We are guaranteed the prize. All that remains is the doing of it; to run the race well. Because every stride brings us closer to Jesus. Sometimes the way will be easy and we will enjoy the journey, and sometimes the race seems to take us uphill or over bumpy ground and it won’t be so much fun. And the race will be a different distance for each person. One day we will turn a corner, and suddenly find ourselves in heaven. You see Jesus has made each one, not just a runner, but a winner. It’s a guarantee.
Wow, that must be a great feeling. To know all through the race that you’ve already won. It is different to an ordinary race isn’t it.
Yes, that’s how different God is. The question isn’t about winning or losing. Losing doesn’t come into it. It’s just about whether you start or not.
Yes I see. You know I learnt about running and fitness today. But I’ve discovered something much more important: That Jesus invites you to join in a great adventure, and that you need to run well and stay close to his directions, but that the race has already been won. What a relief! Your God really is good isn’t He! I hope I haven’t missed my orbit now; you really shouldn’t keep me taking. Good-bye everyone.
Standard exit (leaves. Spaceship takes off on DVD to accompanying sound effects through PA.)© M Day 17-Sep-2002