Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit – Galatians 5:25
Lisa rested her feet in the starting blocks. She dug her toes deep into the cinders and twisted, getting herself situated for a perfect start. Head down, fingers lightly touching the sharp rocks, she bent her knees and lifted her back. She closed her eyes and tried to block out the cheers of her fellow students. This was the final 100 yard dash – a sprint that would either catapult her into a college scholarship or rate her as just another runner.
The starter lifted his arm and shouted, “Ready!” Lisa snapped into position. “Set!” She sucked in a deep breath. The gun fired and it was as if the scene went into slow motion. Her body slowly extended as the muscles in her legs tightened shoving her off the starting blocks. She used her arms to push and pull, accelerating her forward.
To her left, she could hear the breath of her competitor - short, hard puffs of air escaped her lungs giving Lisa the impression an old steam engine was coming. To her right a clumsy runner, arms flailing and grunting. The three runners hit the halfway mark shoulder to shoulder, the only one leading was the one whose head might jut forward. Lisa tried to keep her eyes fixed on the finish line, looking to the right or left would not only break her concentration but cause her to lose momentum.
An elbow from the flailing runner to her right flew up catching Lisa just below the armpit, sending her careening into the on-coming train in the next lane. Her feet tangled and she went headfirst into the cinder. Her hands had no sooner hit the ground until instinct yanked her back. She dug the toes of her shoes into the ground and shot forward, now eyeing the rear of the pack instead of being in the front. She quickly made headway, fueled by anger and frustration, passing runners hard and fast.
She regained a third-place position, not enough to win, but enough to take a ribbon. Immediately after the race officials escorted her to the third place platform and helped her up. Blood streamed down both her legs, and her palms had embedded pieces of cinder. She was disappointed. When the awards ceremony was over, the winner – the clumsy runner, pulled her ribbon from around her neck and placed it around Lisa’s. “It was an accident. I didn’t mean to elbow you. But never in my life have I seen such spirit. Take this, I don’t deserve it.”
What does it mean to have spirit? It means having the heart of the Holy Spirit – it’s that deep part of us that reaches out as the example to others, the kindness, the hope, the determination to be what is good and right. Having spirit is a genuine quality, an honesty, a willingness to do for others without expectation or reward. Spirit is the heart of Christ. When we push forward with the intention of finishing the plan, move ahead with forgiveness and kindness, even when we’ve been wronged, then finish the task – we have spirit. Think of spirit in these terms. Christ was bound, beaten, and murdered on a cross for us without uttering a single harsh word. He took to paradise a thief who hung by His side, and then three days later, He returned in glory to finish the task. No personal gain, no rewards, only the spirit to save.
Prayer: Lord, may our hearts be filled with Your spirit.