Meghan Vogel, a 17-year-old was set to come in last place after just winning a previous race. She didn’t have to be last. She was quickly catching up to a girl whose body had dehydrated and had taken a fall. Meghan, instead of avoiding last place and running past the girl, helped carry Arden McMath to the finish line and boosted her competitor across the line ahead of herself. See the full story and video here.
Is this not part of the picture of the Gospel of Christ? Too often we Christians feel we are in last place regarding respect in the community. We feel hobbled by poor characterizations in the news and entertainment. In the process of us trying to gain traction we end up walking over the broken and tripping on the lost. We forget that the mission of the Christian life is not to get to Heaven and shout at everyone and gloat, “See?! We were right and you were wrong!!” The people who offend us are the mission. The broken and lost are the mission. In Christ there is no need for us to step over anyone. Our life’s worth is not defined by the ideas of success and champions of this world, but simply in the fact that we belong to Christ. If that be the case, then we can stop along the way, consider the value of others, and lift them up, even our competitors, so that they may not loose but have life.
Meghan Vogel was a winner even before she began this race. She was not a winner because she won some visual victory filled with medals and public accolades. She was a winner because on her way to the finish line she lost so that someone else didn’t.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.