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Life is a Relay Race

          It was late afternoon when a fishing trip with family turned into a tale of horror. A boat engine stalls and refused to start. Gallons of water engulf the small boat from six feet swells. The Jaegar family has done all they know to do, but it all fails. As George Jaeger, his three sons, and his elderly father tightened the straps on their life jackets and tied each other together with a rope. They are going under. George Jaeger looked at his watch as the boat went under. It was 6:30 PM. First one boy then the other swallowed to much sea water after many hours in the water. The helpless father heard his sons, one by one choke and drown, then his father. But George couldn’t give up. After eight nightmarish hours he staggered ashore still pulling the rope that was tied to him to the bodies of the other four. George stated” I realized they were all dead .. but I could not accept it so l kept swimming all night”. He later told reporters. “My youngest Clifford was the first to go. I have always told my children never to fear death because it was being with Jesus Christ”. Before Cliff died, I heard him say, “I would rather be with Jesus than go on fighting.” In such a horrible Atlantic memory, George Jeager had a chance to witness the impact of his fifteen years being a father. The boys died quietly, with courage and dignity.  Up to the very last minute one by one they modeled the truth passed on by their father. When under pressure stay calm and think, even if death is near, keep under control.. They did and so they die. When the ultimate test was administered in a angry sea they passed with perfect scores. ( Story in Charles Swindoll, Seasons of life).

          In Edith Scheffer best selling book: What is a family?  she devotes her longest chapter to the idea that a family is a perpetual relay of truth.  A place where principles are hammered and honed on the facts of everyday living. Where character traits are sculptured under the watchful eye of moms and dads.

                   Determination, Honesty, Responsibility, Thoughtfulness, Confidentiality, Self-control, Patience, Purity, Compassion, and Diligence is passed on like a hundred batons in this relay that takes place in life.  It does not happen overnight. This race is not a sprint it is a marathon. There are no fifty-yard dash courses on character building. Relays require right timing and smooth hand-offs practiced around the track, around the clock hour and after hour even WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING. Where is this training facility? Inside your own front door. The home is God’s built in training facility.

And you shall teach them diligently to your sons and daughters shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deuteronomy 6:7).

 

          Keep in mind, moms, and dads, you don’t have forever. Negligence will catch you from behind and beat you in the stretch if you let up. You can’t fake this relay either. You can’t play catch up by dumping a truckload of truth once or twice a year. THE SECRET OF GOOD LIVING, OF GOOD PARENTING, AND OF GOOD CHARACTER STARTS WITH YOUR GOOD CHARACTER!  The secret is consistency.  Got the game plan now? Make sure your hand offs are crisp; and sharp throughout this race against time. It is a new day and a new year. A new beginning. Relays are won or lost at that critical moment when a young hand reaches back to grab the baton. Don’t believe me? Just as George Jaeger.

 

                                                                  Keep in the race this New Year,

                                                                              Rev. Walter Coy

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