It’s a “ratz” race

For most of us in the US this has just been week one of altering and limiting our lives in some ways. For some of us things have just gotten more dramatic with the “shelter in place” order. Unless God intervenes, we are facing at least a few more weeks of sacrificing our freedom of movement and the uncertain future as the aftermath.

This is a rather extraordinary challenge for several reasons. One, in the world of fast food, high-speed internet and the culture of instant gratification we have lost the edge in the art of endurance. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to create a vaccine for a new virus or a stimulus packages that will take us back to normal right away. Another reason, from the natural perspective, we are helpless in the face of the virus. And yet we are not.

I read somewhere that in Hebrew the word “ratzon”, “will/want,” is related to “running” (ratz) because desire or will makes us run better. A concept familiar to every runner and the key to 1 Cor 9:24 : Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

The runner who wins the prize is not the fittest, the fastest but the one who is driven by the greatest desire to win.

COVID-19 is a distance race that will test our peace, patience and perseverance. It can’t however wear out the one with the “ratzon” to live, love and thrive.