23 Mar 2022

The Passing Of The Baton

A few weeks ago, I had the proud honor of traveling to Geneva, Ohio where our first granddaughter, who is a junior in high school was competing in the Ohio State Indoor Track Meet. Like her mother was in high school, she is quite the shining track star! Although they did not make it to the podium to receive a trophy they still ranked high in the state 4 x 2 relay; and our granddaughter placed 13thoverall in the open 200 in the entire state. Quite an accomplishment I would say! To witness the hundreds of runners from all over Ohio who converged in this one arena over the course of two days was indeed a thrill! I could feel the excitement and the tension on my daughter’s face as she watched her daughter compete in this great event. Truly I witnessed what it looked like to see the passing of the baton. I witnessed it as I watched my daughter’s excitement for her daughter; and I witnessed it as I watched one participant after another in each of the relays run their laps around that track at the greatest speed they could muster; and then at the exact moment of transfer place the baton in the hand of the next runner! Even if track and field is not a sport you ever aspired to, to watch those young athletes in a competitive atmosphere such as that is electrifying.

As I reflected on that great event, it occurred to me that everyone in life has the opportunity at one point or another to “pass the baton”. What does that mean? It means that each of us has something of value we should pass on that will be of benefit for the good of the whole. Explained another way, “it takes teamwork to make the dream work”. Relay races cannot be run alone, it takes others, each doing their part with a unified goal to win the race. Our experiences, life lessons, challenges, and struggles are not just for us alone. We are here on this earth to share what we have learned to contribute to someone else’s success. My concern is that principle is not easily grasped. We can become so consumed in just making it for ourselves, and getting over this or that particular challenge, we fail to recognize that someone is coming up behind us.

This week, the body of Christ bows to the sovereign will of God as Evangelist Naomi Sessley has transitioned to glory. She was a rare jewel, whose light shone brightly wherever she walked. She always had a praise on her lips for the God she served, but was never boisterous or unseemly about it — she was indeed a lady, uniquely created by God for His glory! In her very stylish, and small stature, she gave respect to whom respect was due. But it was the God in her that commanded respect and attention in every room. There was a way about her that eliminated even the slightest hint of intimidation or intrusion. She was known to walk into a place of business and the Lord’s spirit would point her in the direction of someone. Very quietly and unassuming, she would approach the individual and ask, “pardon me, but would you mind if I had a word of prayer with you?” Hundreds of lives have been won for Christ by the incredible faith of this woman of God who was willing to share His love and plan of salvation with anyone who would give her the opportunity. I believe that she embodied the attractiveness of the Holy Spirit in part because there did not appear to be a judgmental bone in her body. She loved God and she loved His people. The question I cannot seem to shake is who is standing ready to receive the baton? Not to do it exactly like her, because there will never be another Evangelist Naomi Sessley. But who are the ones who are not second guessing whether they are qualified or not, ready or not, but accepting the charge that God’s work must go on! All signs are pointing to the fact that we are living in the last days. God is calling home His “generals”, His “soldiers” who have labored and fought faithfully and unashamedly. We question not the sovereign will of our God, however we must recognize their transitioning is creating a void that is necessary to be filled. The runner that has gone before you is fast approaching, there is no time to look to the left or the right, and most certainly not behind. The 12th chapter of Hebrews, vs. 1 (New Living Translation) gives us the greatest advice for this final leg of the race, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Source: New feed