Thursday, October 17, 2013

GOD’S RACING PLAN a sermon by Alexander Wright on Youth Sunday

June 10, 2013, 1:58 PM

GOD’S RACING PLAN a sermon by Alexander Wright on Youth Sunday

So, I row.
As you know, and this last April, I made the journey to Brentwood, as I annually do.
And it’s a fairly prestigious event. Brentwood is a prep-high school on Mill bay.
Last year was my first year going, and, let me be honest: It was a bit like I imagine heaven. You go through these big tall gates, and there are big, lush, green athletic fields for any game you want, the dining hall serves the greatest school food I have ever eaten, and not to mention, there are very nice Canadian people to talk to.
But, this is earth. The regatta doesn’t want me to forget that, so I have to race.
Racing is the only painful part about Brentwood. 
I like to draw this Regatta  and rowing as parallel to my Religious life.
Crew, in my social life, is like being religious. It’s not the cool thing to be religious, neither is it the most popular thing to be in crew.
But because I'm in crew (and what I could call: God’s rowing team), I made a special group of friends.
I know some of you wonderful people because I came here, to the church. Not every Sunday, but you know, a good amount.
But anyway, I digress…
When I race, I pray. I get up to the start line, and there are these huge guys sitting there in my race and I can’t help but pray!
I feel like asking for first is a bit selfish, so, I ask for other things.
“Dear God, please give me strength, patience and endurance”
“Dear God, please let me finish this in record time, please, by your hand give me a bit more strength…”
Like such.
During one of my races, we were going strong, but our boat was sitting a good 20 meters back. Getting first was out of the question. I always hope that maybe by chance…or God….they’ll catch a crab, or sink, or a giant octopus might eat them…
And then it hit me,
Maybe God doesn’t need us to be first. Maybe God chooses for us not to be first.
I believe it is because He loves us so much, that He doesn’t want us to stop trying to be even better. We work on having a good religious life, but nobody is perfect!
I just returned from Regionals, where, if I may, Vashon is sending EIGHT boats to nationals; twice what we sent two years ago.
Not to brag or anything.
At regionals, I was not the best, because God is always pushing us to improve.
In my case, I am now working toward nationals for myself, pushing myself every day for a better time on a run, or more reps.
I think I should be pushing myself further in my understanding with God. Maybe it doesn’t need to be coming to church every day, but just making changes so that I can better understand what he has planned out.
Rowing is all about small changes. If the boat is not set, small change to the level my hands and the boat can be set. That small change can be the difference between a good row, and a bad row.
So many things go into a good race, any one of them be out of line and it is all going to come down.
A good many things go into being a follower of God. –“Child of light” if you prefer— celebrating holidays, being a good neighbor, observing the Ten Commandments,
Now, far be it from me to stand up here and tell you WHAT to do, or HOW to do it, being a Christian means different things to people.  Small changes.
You don’t have time to come to church?   Garden, God’s there.  God is in this world, not just this bulding.
There is no other place than church, where I feel closer to God than on the water. Rowing along in the beautiful Quartermaster harbor, thw water is calm, a couple birds fly by, maybe Pumpernickel (the seal) comes by and visits….
It is a peaceful place where I can connect with God.
Unless it’s jellyfish season, that’s like the 9th plague or something.
Okay….well, I am way off topic again, where was I again?

In my mind, God and Crew are parallels, both have made me who I am today, and that it’s alright not to be first. God may have us not be first for a reason, and that small changes can have big impacts on our lives.

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