Walking the Road to Glory

March 17, 2024 Download: Audio

Mark 10:31-52

Track is a brutal sport. If you want to succeed then you have to push your body to its physical limits; to the point your lungs are screaming and everything but your will to win is telling you to stop. Sometimes runners push too hard and collapse before the end of the race. It’s brutal. Some of the most brutal races of all are the 1600 meter and 3200 meter races. They are too far to sprint, yet too short to settle for a comfortable pace. These are not popular races for that reason. In 2012 at the state track championship in Ohio at the girl’s 1600 meter race, a young junior felt good as she approached the starting line. When the start went off, she ran faster than she ever had before, reaching a personal best and out running the rest of the field. She took the gold medal. Not long after the medal ceremony for that race, she took her position in another—the 3200m. Instead of taking the gold, however, she finished in last place. And yet, it was that race that people remember. Her name is Meghan Vogel. As she started her last lap, she saw a runner in front of her collapse. She knew what happened. Her competitor had pushed her body beyond its limits. Her body was cramping. Meghan could have run past and gained a better finish in the race. Instead, she bent down and lifted the runner up, putting the girls arm over her shoulder and helped her limp to the finish line and as they reached the line, she made sure the other girl crossed it first. This wasn’t a practice run. This was the state final.

In her selfless act, we see there are two paths to glory. One is to seek it for yourself. The other is to seek it for others. As it turns out, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.