I think weíve all heard of it, probably all tasted it, but never acquire a taste for it. Humble pie. When you think you are in the right, yet turn out to be wrongÖ.itís whatís for dinner. I have found, that in most messages that I convey, the ones that seem to hit home with people the most, have been reflections on me. I do this for several reasons. First, to show that when I speak of things I send out, I am not doing in an accusatory manner, but rather, that I am right there with you. Next, is to show, that neither I nor anyone else is perfect, and God still has work to do with each and everyone. That said, on to the story.
This weekend, I went to a friendís birthday party for one of their sons at a skating rink. Itís a place that reminds me of an event that took place about a year ago at the same place, in which, in great humility, God revealed a weakness in me that I hope to have overcome. See, we were there for a party then too, hanging out, having a good time, and the kids were having a blast. Every time this place opens, it stops somewhere along the line and has races, and sets everyone up in age brackets. A friend and I were perched up along one of the walls to watch as they set the first set of younger kids up. Off they went at the whistle for a one lap race. He and I continued talking as the race finished, and after about 30 seconds, realized the next race had not started. Looking around to see what the delay was, I noticed they were waiting on one young boy who had not made it out of the second turn. Having not been very good in sports when I was young, I always feel bad for the under-dog or those who donít excel there either, because a lot of the world is sport focused, when there is really a lot more than that that really matters.
Well, I started feeling bad for the young boy, but he was doing his best to keep his balance and kept right on going. I felt embarrassed for this child and said out loud, ďHe needs to go ahead and get off the rink.Ē No sooner had the words rolled off my lips, and my friend agreed, did my throat lump up, and my heart sank past the floor to an area about a mile or so beneath it. That young boy was my son. I couldnít believe what I had just done. And I had made the comment that he needed to get off, and with some of the by-standers starting to talk, I got over there and told him to come on off the floor so the next race could start. Again, the sense of great failure on my part overwhelmed me. I had done it again in less than 30 seconds, and it didnít feel good at all. I talked with him and he was upset because he could not skate well, and holding back tears, I told him he still gave it his all and he was still better than he was when he first started. But it didnít change the fact of what I had just done, and I hugged him, told him I was sorry, and that I love him. He of course, not knowing why I said I was sorry, still told me he loved me as he always does.
Iím not ashamed to say that it was all I could do not to break down there, and I did later that day out in my shop all alone, just me and God. And every time I go back there to that place, I am in constant reminder of that incident. Why did it affect me so bad? Because of the life and love of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. See, He looked down once too, and saw a human race that was well out of first place. And instead of just feeling sorry for us, or embarrassed for us, He joined us, and became one of us, to make us better. To cure the disease of sin that has forever separated us from God. I knew when I spoke my words, and got my son off the track, I should have gone out on the rink with him and finished it with him. I should have held him by the hand or skated beside him even if it took five minutes. I failed, and thatís the difference between Jesus and me, He has never, and will never fail. He always makes the right decisions; He always does the right thing. Thankfully, He sent the Holy Spirit to convict us, and sharpen us to make our walk better, even when it is a painful lesson. This was a very painful lesson. But as compassionate as I thought I was, it has given me more compassion. And as humble as I thought I was, it gave me more humility and meekness.
As the time drew yesterday for them to call the rink to race, I was ready. If my son went back out there, and the case was the same, I would have been out there in my tennis shoes to be with him. Yet, it was not to be; he had taken his skates off and was enjoying other things when it happened. He was oblivious to the turmoil in me of being reminded of those two decisions, which still cause me to tear up thinking about it. Yet life goes on, God grows us, and we try to do better each day. A lasting impression my son made on me that day though brings a big smile to my face. See, he knew everyone was watching him, he knew he was in last place, and he knew people were mocking him in the crowds; but he never stopped. And if I had not stepped in, or atleast have done what I should have, he would have kept on till he finished. And thatís what itís all about. And I see that same effort in his life with God and am thankful so much for that. He reminds me of some scripture from Paul that I will end this with. May we all, through the grace of God, have his same perseverance. And thank-you Matthew, for being a testimony of this even in just 8 years of life. I love you, Daddy.
2nd Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
In His Grace,
Mike Harris Jr.
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