Extra Laps

Josh WannerWaiting

 “Let us cast off the works of darkness…” Romans 13:12b

In seventh grade, my son, Sam, was assigned to run the mile during PE class. It is a task he was dreading because he was born more to be a lineman in football than a long-distance runner. Just to complete four long trips around the track without stopping for him was an accomplishment.   

After struggling to finish his final lap, Sam noticed a classmate who was afraid to try to run. Even though Sam was exhausted, he told his classmate he would run two extra laps with him if he would just try. The frightened classmate agreed.

While they ran, Sam encouraged his classmate to keep going by repeating the words, “You are not a letdown. You can do this. You are better than you think!” When they finished Sam said, “You did a great job. I am so proud of you. Keep it up!”

What made Sam reach out to help his classmate? Was it because Sam had to struggle running the mile himself that he felt compassion? Maybe, but who among us, even if we do feel for someone with problems, would actually run the extra laps with them?  

Our sinful nature is dark with selfishness, fear and apathy, but Jesus did more than just feel sorry for us. He came to run our laps with us and give us his strength and courage. And then he died for us, taking all that darkness on himself.

Now we, like Sam, can “cast off the works of darkness” and care enough to act. No judgment. No condemning. Just see a need and show the kindness and courage to help. I am proud of my son for his act of kindness. He truly possesses the heart of God.

God, open my eyes to see the needs around me and open my heart to act.

Contributed by Tom Krause